FAQs.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require you to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment, facilities and people so your employees can be given immediate help if there are any injured or taken ill at work.

What is ‘adequate and appropriate’ will depend on the circumstances in your workplace and you should assess what your first-aid needs are.

It is important to remember that accidents and illness can happen at anytime. Provision for first aid needs to be available at all times people are at work.

People at work can suffer injuries or be taken ill. It doesn’t matter whether the injury or illness is caused by the work they do or not, it is important to give them immediate attention and call an ambulance in serious cases. You should make arrangements to ensure this happens. It can save lives and prevent minor injuries becoming major ones.

Some small workplaces with low-level hazards may need the minimum provision for first aid. But there are circumstances and factors that will mean you need greater provision. You, as an employer, are well placed to decide the provision you need.

A first-aider is someone who has done training appropriate to the level identified in the needs assessment. This may be:

  • first aid at work (FAW);
  • emergency first aid at work or
  • some other first-aid training appropriate to the particular circumstances of your workplace.

The findings of your first-aid needs assessment will identify whether first aiders should be trained in FAW, EFAW or some other appropriate level of training. EFAW training enables a first-aider to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work. FAW training includes the same content as EFAW and also equips the first-aider to a range of specific injuries and illnesses.

People at work can suffer injuries or be taken ill. It doesn’t matter whether the injury or illness is caused by the work they do or not, it is important to give them immediate attention and call an ambulance in serious cases. You should make arrangements to ensure this happens. It can save lives and prevent minor injuries becoming major ones.

The findings of your first-aid needs assessment will help you decide how many first-aiders are required. There are no hard and fast rules on exact numbers and you will need to take into account all the relevant circumstances of your particular workplace.
Your employer is expected to have:
  • completed a first-aid needs assessment;
  • ensured that there is either an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements or, if necessary, there are appropriate numbers of suitably trained first-aiders;
  • ensured their are adequate facilities and a suitable stocked first-aid box;
  • provided you with information about the first-ad arrangements.

In the event of injury or sudden illness, failure to provide first aid could result in a casualty’s death. The employer should ensure that an employee who is injured or taken ill at work receives immediate attention.

HSE will prosecute in cases where there is a significant risk, a disregard for established standards or persistent poor compliance with the law.

There is no mandatory list of items to put in a first-aid box. It depends on what you assess your needs to be. As a guide, where work activities involve low level hazards, a minimum stock of first-aid items would be:

  • a leaflet giving general guidance om first-aid (eg HSE leaflet Basic advice on first-aid at work);
  • individually wrapped sterile plasters (of assorted sizes), appropriate to the type of work (you can provide hypoallergenic plasters if necessary):
  • sterile eye pads;
  • individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile;
  • large, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings;
  • medium-sized, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings;
  • disposable gloves.
This is a suggested contents list only.
The contents of any first-aid kit should reflect the outcome of your first-aid needs assessment.
It is recommended that you don’t keep tablets and medicines in the first-aid box.
It is very unlikely that nay action would be taken against a first-aider using the first-aid training they have received. HSE cannot give any specific advice on this issue as it does not fall within HSE’s statutory powers.

It is recommended that you seek legal advice, or advice from your employer’s insurance brokers on whether their policies cover first-aiders’ liability.

Breaches of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 are dealt with proportionately. Enforcement action could include the issuing of a notice or prosecution if the circumstances warrant it.
No. It is strongly recommended to employers to help trained first aiders maintain their basic skills and keep up to date with any changes in first-aid procedures.
First aid at work (FAW) and emergency First Aid at Work courses (EFAW) cover the use of defibrillators. If you decide to provide a defibrillator in your workplace, it is important that those who may use it are appropriately trained. HSE does not specify the content of this training.
As an employer, you will need assurance that you have selected an appropriate training provider. You will therefore need to check that they meet the standards in a number of areas (due diligence). All training providers should be prepared to demonstrate that they:

  • are competent to deliver first-aid training;
  • have qualified trainers;
  • teach relevant course content in the correct way;
  • have the necessary quality assurance systems in place.

Where you select a training provider offering regulated qualifications you will not need to do any due diligence to satisfy yourself to their competence.

They operate under awarding organisations who are recognised by qualification regulators (Ofqual the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Welsh Government) and have dedicated policies and quality assurance processes.

Infinite Training Solutions Ltd are QNUK approved, and are approved to provide a wide range of regulated health and safety and first aid courses.