First Aid: What is your Company’s Obligation?


Safety in the workplace is important and it’s vital you know about your company’s legal obligations towards first aid. Find out more here.

 

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First Aid Legal Obligations

 

Although the law regarding first aid provision at work can seem more complicated than it needs to be, but we have put together this brief guide to help you get the hang of things.

The good news is that the legal obligations for employers all falls under the same legislation, no matter what industry you are working in. You’ll also find that the nationally recognised first aid at work qualifications we offer are valid in all workplaces and industries.

To start with the law says that all employers must make adequate arrangements to provide first aid to their employees, this includes having the right number of suitably trained people and also enough first aid equipment to deal with injuries or emergencies caused by medical problems.  These obligations are set out in the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. Even better the main inspection and enforcement of the law is carried out by the same government authority, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Safety Risks in the Workplace

So the first thing you’ll need to do is consider the risks involved at your workplace and the number and occupations of the staff working there. The sort of things you should bear in mind are:

  • the type of work being carried out; including any hazards particular to this work
  • the size and location of the workforce; total number and also remember to include all your sites
  • whether your company shares premises with other organisations
  • any history of accidents

Although you don’t have to, you might find it useful to record your findings. This will help you keep track of things and also be evidence that you and your company have complied with the law.

Next you’ll have to check that your company takes steps to make sure that enough first aiders and equipment is provided.  To make things easy the HSE has provided a very useful list of case studies covering a wide range of industries, including:

  • Convenience store
  • Supermarket
  • Nursing home
  • Office
  • Secondary school
  • Primary school
  • Café
  • Construction company
  • Railway maintenance
  • Chemical plant
  • Remote forestry

You can check out these case studies here:

Your company will then need to ensure that it has enough people trained to provide first aid to personnel.  These people will normally be expected to gain one of the following two qualifications:

Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (1-day course)

Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (3-day course)

Remember that if you decide that you need, for example, two first aiders at your main head office you’ll also need to take into account times that they will be away from work due to holidays, meetings, visits to customers etc. This means that you’ll actually need more than two people trained in order to cover for these events.

So if you make sure that you’ve got enough trained people on hand to deal with things and they’ve got first aid equipment to use your company will be complying with these obligations.

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