Employers are required to provide adequate equipment, facilities, and trained employees to ensure that any employee who is injured or becomes ill in the workplace receives immediate and appropriate attention. At the minimum level, all businesses are expected to appoint at least one person who is responsible for being in charge of first aid in the workplace, which could include ensuring that first aid kits are correctly stocked and stored. However, it is a wise idea to take it a step further and provide first aid training to at least one person on your premises, especially if your business is in an industry where the health and safety risks are higher.
You should conduct a first-aid needs assessment to determine how much first-aid trained staff you will need to have. There are some important factors to consider when deciding on the blended first aid at work needs for your business, including the number of employees that you have, the hazards in your work environment and activities, the past number of accidents and illnesses that have occurred in your workplace, and any other reasons that may be deemed significant, such as the current first aid experience of your employees. The more employees, hazards and past accidents you have, the more first aiders you will need. At the minimum, you should aim to have at least one trained first aider for each shift.
Unfortunately, you are not able to simply appoint an employee as a first aider, even if they have received first aid training in the past. For a colleague to be the first aider for your business, they will need to be fully compliant with all regulations and have an up to date first aid in the workplace qualification, which lasts for three years. Consider first aid training from Skills Training Group, which is provided in a classroom setting, which is ideal if you want to train more than one employee. Skills Training Group also offer refresher courses for employees who are already first aid trained but their qualification is coming to the end of the three-year limit.
If your first aid needs assessment determines that you need a first aider on your business premises, it’s important to ensure that this requirement is met. If you fail to provide first aid training to employees and another employee suffers an injury or illness and a first aider is not available, you are liable and could face prosecution. You may also be fined if a serious accident occurs in your workplace and there is no adequately trained first aider on-site to respond. And, bear in mind that failing to provide first-aid trained staff can have serious consequences to the safety of your workforce. Almost 60% of injury-related deaths in the UK could have been prevented if a first-aider was available before an ambulance arrived.
Even if your business does not require a first-aid trained employee on site, it is a wise idea to consider making your workplace a safer place for all by offering first-aid training.