First Aid Regulations for Employers
Employers are legally required under the Health and Safety Regulations Act (1981) to provide adequate and appropriate first aid arrangements in the workplace. This is a legal requirement for businesses of all sizes and includes the self-employed.
In order to understand what first aid training and equipment is required for a company, you need to first carry out an assessment in to the business’s needs. This assessment should include consideration of the nature of the workplace and the risks and hazards present.
You should also consider:
- Your company’s history of accidents
- The size of your workforce
- Holidays and other leave first aiders may take
- The distance to medical services
- Any workers who travel or work remotely
- First aid provisions for members of the public
If your company works with particularly hazardous machinery for example, then extra first aid needs will need to be met. As a minimum, a workplace will require:
- A fully stocked first aid kit
- An appointed person to control first aid arrangements (usually a person in a HR or office management position)
- Information which is accessible to all employees detailing the company’s first aid arrangements
Keeping Employees Safe
According to the HSE, 30.4 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2015/16. Part of the role of HR is to maximise the productivity of a businesses’ workforce and support with the organisation of any training required.
To look after employee’s well-being, it is vital that a HR manager keep employee’s safe by implementing first aid training in the workplace. Injuries that happen at work can be detrimental to a business in terms of reputation, and also financially should any legal conflict occur as a result.
Fiona Robinson, HR Manager at Virtual College, commented on the importance of businesses providing first aid training, “It’s crucial to have an initial point of contact within the building and business for any major or minor injuries to an employee. It’s our duty to keep employee’s safe in any scenario until medical professionals are on the scene or we can get the employee the appropriate help required.”
Learning First Aid Skills
Online learning provider Virtual College have developed the First Aid: Primary Survey course on their website in partnership with First Response Training, this course provides individuals or businesses with knowledge on how to safely assist in the event of an accident. The course is suitable to those looking to enhance their existing knowledge of first aid or learn new skills which could benefit others in future.
Virtual College also recently carried out a recent survey of 2,000 UK adults with OnePoll, and found that 32 per cent of people wouldn’t feel confident enough to give even basic first aid to a casualty.
1 in 10 people admit they wouldn’t know what to do in an accident where a person had collapsed, after the emergency services have been called. Only 13.95 per cent of Brits would feel confident performing the Heimlich manoeuvre, and only 15.85 per cent of respondents would feel confident administering CPR in an emergency.
The main reason given by participants for not wanting to administer first aid, is that they feared they would do it wrong and that they might possibly make the situation worse (39.85 per cent).
Understanding first aid is crucial to helping others in accidents. To help people learn more about first aid and improve confidence in this area, Virtual College have created a useful First Aid Guide on their website.