First Aid At Work
Employers today are obliged by law to ensure that they have adequate provision for first aid, with appropriate equipment, facilities, and responsible individuals capable of giving first aid to co-employees should they fall ill or are injured in the workplace.
Although many regulations do not apply to small businesses with five or less employees, the necessity for adequate first aid, available at all hours of work, is still a legal requirement.
Employers must establish first aid capacity and capability to suit the circumstances of the workplace. It could be that basic first aid provision will suffice, which requires an “appointed person” recognised as the first aider, and a first aid box, which should be adequately stocked, and fixed in a prominent position, clearly marked with a green cross on a white background.
Appointed persons aren’t legally required to have formal first aid training, although courses are available. They are to be responsible for the contents of the first aid box, and other first aid equipment, and for taking charge if there is injury or illness in the workplace. They should only give the level of first aid for which they have been trained, call an ambulance if necessary, and keep a record of all treatments given.
A first aider may be necessary in some workplaces, and will have received training relevant to the work environment. First aider training usually takes place during work time and is a three-day mandatory course, and a one day option for small businesses.
Employers are obliged to make a first aid assessment which details the number of people that work on site, and the nature of the work to determine the number and capabilities of those to be responsible for first aid. Need help managing your first aid training requirements?
It could be that the place of work will require multiple first aiders and or appointed persons, depending on the type of operation and number of employees. If the workplace is a relatively benign one such as an office environment, an appointed person level should suffice, with perhaps one per fifty to one hundred workers being sufficient.
In higher risk working environments, such as building or manufacturing, obviously the greater the need for more first aid capacity.
It is important that the first aid book is updated with each event. Name, date, the type of accident or illness, and the first aid given.
The where and how the accident occurred should always be recorded as these could help identify possible trends or areas of potential Health and Safety improvements.