When and Why Does Your Business Need First-Aiders?

Last Updated: 

February 14, 2024

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.

Key Takeaways on When and Why Businesses Need First-Aiders:

  • Legal Requirement for First Aid: Employers are legally required to provide adequate equipment, facilities, and trained employees for immediate and appropriate attention if an employee is injured or becomes ill at the workplace.
  • Appointing a First Aider: Businesses must assign at least one person in charge of first aid, including the upkeep of first aid kits. It is highly recommended that at least one person on the premises is first-aid trained, especially in industries with higher health and safety risks.
  • First Aid Needs Assessment: To determine the number of first aid-trained staff needed, a first-aid needs assessment should be conducted. This involves considering the number of employees, work environment hazards, the history of accidents and illnesses at the workplace, and any current first aid experience among employees.
  • First Aid Training: Employees appointed as first aiders should have up-to-date first aid qualifications, in compliance with all regulations. Skills Training Group provides first aid training in a classroom setting and offers refresher courses for those whose qualifications are nearing expiration.
  • Liability for Lack of First Aiders: Failure to provide first aid training can lead to liability and possible prosecution if an employee suffers an injury or illness and no first aider is available. Businesses may also face fines if a serious accident occurs with no adequately trained first aider on-site.
  • Benefits of First-Aid Trained Staff: Nearly 60% of injury-related deaths in the UK could have been prevented if a first-aider was present before the ambulance arrived. Even in businesses where a first-aid trained employee isn't required on site, it's beneficial to provide first-aid training to enhance workplace safety.
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How Many First Aiders Should Your Workplace Have?

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.

Providing First Aid Training

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.

Why Do You Need a First-Aider?

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.

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