Public consultation on First Aid at work and HSE published guidance


Last year, a review of Health and Safety was commissioned by the Government, and this review recommended some changes in First Aid Regulations at work.

It was felt that the present Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approval process took it beyond the minimum requirement laid out in the European Union legislation.

Last year, a review of Health and Safety was commissioned by the Government, and this review recommended some changes in First Aid Regulations at work. It was felt that the present Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approval process took it beyond the minimum requirement laid out in the European Union legislation.

Professor Löfstedt, chair of this review panel, recommended that HSE Regulations of 1981 regarding First Aid at Work be amended to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel. By getting rid of this, businesses should have more flexibility in choosing a training provider and the training that they offer, to suit the the needs of the business. However, the legal obligation for employers to have the adequate number of trained first aiders, in accordance with their own risk assessments, will still remain unchanged.

The HSE began with public consultations on the matter on October 22, 2012 that ended on December 3, 2012. It also consulted on proposals to review the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) for First Aid at Work and associated guidance that was related to the issue. In addition, it looked for suggestions for the principles on which the revised guidance could be based and what would help employers.

At present, HSE is working towards bringing in effect the necessary changes, once they are approved by HSE Board and Parliament. These changes are expected to come into effect by October 2013.

HSE with the help of public consultations, has drafted two guidance documents that contain the proposed necessary changes. These documents are expected to guide businesses to make their own assessment of the first aid requirements, within their individual workplaces.

Currently, the existing legislation is still in place and thus businesses are not required to implement any changes or take any actions. It means that all First Aid training needs to be carried out by an HSE approved training provider or under the approval of an Ofqual recognised awarding Organisation..

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