The Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work.
- First aid at work - HSE website
What is first aid?
First aid means treating minor injuries at work and giving immediate attention to more serious casualties until medical help is available.
Through this initial management of injury or illness suffered at work, lives can be saved and minor injuries prevented from becoming major ones.
Employers must provide first aid equipment and facilities which are suitable for the circumstances in their workplace.
Employers must at least have a suitably stocked first aid box and a person appointed to take charge of first aid arrangements.
There are specific ratios for the number of trained first aiders provided to employees.
Considerations for employers are:
- Do you have at least the minimum first aid provision at your workplace?
- Do you know whether you might need to provide more than the minimum?
- Do you know which accidents and ill health cases to report, including who should do it, when and how?
- Do you know what accidents cost and that insurance policies do not cover all the cost?
Low risk businesses
Lower risk businesses may only require an appointed person whose task is to take charge of the first aid kit and call an ambulance if someone becomes injured.
Larger companies will require qualified first aiders, depending on the risks involved with the business and the number of people employed.