How Many First Aiders Do I Need At Work?
Having the correct first aid provision in the workplace is not only a legal requirement, but it is incredibly important for the safety of you and your employees. In this article, we answer the question “How many first aiders do I need at work?” and point you to a tool that can be used to calculate this figure.
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 states that employers must make sure there are adequate and appropriate first aid equipment, facilities, and the number of qualified first aiders in the workplace. However, “adequate and appropriate” is quite a vague phrase and may be difficult for you to understand.
So, how many first aiders do I need?
In order to ensure you do have an adequate number of first aiders for your business to be legally compliant, you need to carry out the first aid needs risk assessment.
Every workplace will be different. Although the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will give numbers for guidance these numbers are not a legal ratio. You may actually need more first aiders than the guidance states.
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What do I need to consider in my first aid needs assessment?
The HSE advise that you consider:
- Type and severity of hazards in the workplace
- Numbers of employees
- Experience level of employees
- Types of accidents and ill health that have previously occurred in your company or
- The arrangement of your premises, are they spread out or in one location
- Shift workers?
- Lone workers?
- Do you need to include provisions for anyone other than employees?
From this information, you will need to assess the level of hazard resulting from your work activities and arrangements.
I have assessed the level of risk, now what?
You need to balance the level of risk and the number of employees with your first aid provision. For example, for a low-risk office environment where less than 25 people are employed the HSE suggest that an appointed person is sufficient, but where the numbers of employees rise to above 50 they recommend the First Aid at Work (FAW) trained first aider for every one hundred employees.
What about holiday cover?
When deciding upon the number of first aiders required you will need to take into account staff holidays, shift patterns, part-time workers and off-site work, hence the reason why the HSE suggest rather than dictate first aider to staff ratios. One first aider to every one hundred employees will be required regardless of holidays, therefore in reality you will need at least two first aiders to provide continuity of cover.
Our easy-to-use First Aid Requirements Calculator has 3 simple steps that should only take a few minutes to complete. It will then use the latest HSE guidance to provide you with a full breakdown of how many first aiders you need and what type of training they require.