Do You Have To Have A Trained First Aider At Work?
In this article, we answer the general question “Do you have to have a trained first aider at work?” Unfortunately, there is no simple yes or no answer to this question. The First Aid Regulations require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel. They must ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
What “Adequate and Appropriate” Means
This phrase means that the measures have been decided to take into account the circumstances in the workplace. In other words, whether trained first-aiders are needed, the contents of the first-aid box and if a first-aid room is required. The requirements for first aid provision in an office will be less complicated than those in a factory, for example.
Employers should, therefore, carry out a first-aid needs analysis to determine what to provide. According to HSE guidance, an appointed person and a well-stocked first-aid box are often acceptable for a low-risk workplace. You could, therefore, potentially not have any first aiders, but you must demonstrate this is acceptable through the risk assessment.
Difference Between A First Aider And An Appointed Person For First Aid
The role of an appointed person is to look after the first-aid equipment and facilities. They would also be responsible for calling the emergency services.
A first aider is someone who has been trained to a level appropriate to the circumstances. The purpose of a first aider is to prevent the condition of the injured person from deteriorating before the emergency services arrive.
Level Of Training Required
No first aid training is necessary for the role of the appointed person. Still, many companies send their appointed persons on a Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work course so they can provide cover for first aiders.
First aiders can be trained to various levels depending upon the company’s requirements. Low to medium-risk workplaces may decide that an Emergency First Aid course covers their needs. However, more high-risk organisations are more likely to find that the longer and more comprehensive Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work course is more suitable.
The Number Of First Aiders Required
The number of first aiders you need depends upon your first aid needs assessment, but if you are only having one first aider you should consider what happens if that person is off sick or on holiday.
You may also decide that because of the layout of your premises it makes sense to have a first aider or appointed person for every department, floor or shift.