First aid at work should form a vital part of your health and safety procedure. Whilst it is hoped that you may never need to put these skills into practice, it is essential that you have a qualified first aider on hand to deal with any injury or emergency.
Many companies are unsure as to whether a first aider is required for their business. A business assessment of risk, activities and operations carried out will be essential for deciding whether a first aider is required.
First aid regulations can be long winded and complicated but it is essential that you have the required cover in place to avoid being prosecuted in the event of an accident.
A first aider or an appointed person is the nominated person who has been trained to help someone who is injured or ill and help keep them safe to ensure they come to no further harm until the emergency services arrive.
It is estimated that around 150,000 people in the UK die or are seriously injured in incidents. Many deaths could be prevented if first aid was given before the emergency services arrive.
Carrying out a first aid risk assessment can seem daunting but it really doesn’t have to be. The purpose of carrying out a risk assessment is to show the proven authorities such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that you have taken the time to assess how your workplace runs and how many first aiders are required.
It is a good idea to keep a record of your assessment so that you have proof if the local authority or HSE need to see it and can be helpful in the event of any insurance claims made against you.
When you carry out a risk assessment, it is a good idea to think about the following;
When you carry out a risk assessment, you should ensure that you take into account how your employees work during their working day. You will need to ensure that if you only have one first aider, what you would do if that person was on holiday or is off sick? You would need to ensure that you have someone trained to cover them whilst they are off.
Next, you need to consider whether you get many visitors entering the workplace. Current first aid regulations mean that you don’t need to provide treatment to any visitors, however if your business has lots of visitors on site, then it is advised that you should be able treat them if a situation arose.
Places such as constructions sites or maintenance are considered to be a high risk workplace and would require first aiders who have taken a first aid course that meets the requirements of the HSE. Whilst the HSE no longer approve courses themselves, the assessment should include a practical assessment at the end of the training to ensure that employees understand what is required of them. Workers should gain a certificate in First Aid at Work or Emergency First Aid at Work to show they are competent in administering first aid.
Once you have carried out a risk assessment, you will be in a position to understand how many first aiders you need in your workplace. There is no right or wrong answer to how many you have but it is recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that between five and fifty employees, there should be at least one person trained in first aid. Another trained first aider should be in place for every fifty workers after that.
The minimum first aid equipment that any business should hold is a well stocked and up to date first aid kit. The first aider or appointed person should take charge of ensuring that the kit has everything they may need if an accident occurs. The needs and quantities will be different for every business depending on the nature of work and how many employees.
Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time and it is vital that provisions are available at all times when people are at work, including when people are driving or working away on a different site. The HSE states that every vehicle, company or personal used by someone whilst at work or for the purposes of their role, contains a first aid kit.
The kit should be somewhere visible and should be stocked at all times.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure you have arrangements in place to make sure that your workplace is as safe as possible. Even in the safest environments, accidents can and will happen. It is essential that you have the correct amount of first aiders to aid your workforce.
If you would like to find out more information on the different types of first aid courses we offer and what is recommended for your business size, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on 0129 3344556.