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First Aid at work

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First aid kit

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations require that all UK employers provide adequate equipment, personnel, and facilities to make sure that all their staff members can receive prompt attention if they become ill or are injured at work. The regulations are applicable to every workplace, including for self-employed people.

What constitutes first aid?

First aid can be defined as immediate medical attention that is given in the event of illness or injury, so as to preserve life and to prevent the casualty’s condition from worsening. In serious cases, an ambulance must be called.

All designated company first aiders must attend and pass an official First Aid at Work training course, or an Emergency First Aid at Work training course. These courses are often run by your local ambulance or paramedic training centre or other independent specialist bodies.

What first aid contingency does your company need?

In order to work out what first aid contingency is required by your company, you must carry out a basic risk assessment.

The minimum requirement as per the law for any workplace is to have a suitably stocked first aid kit and an appointed person in charge of first aid arrangements. If your operation presents only low-level hazards, such as a shop or call centre, your first aid requirements will be basic, comprising a basic first aid kit and someone to take charge of first aid arrangements. In businesses where the hazard risk is higher, such as in factories where people operate heavy machinery, handle dangerous chemicals, or work at heights or in confined spaces, besides the minimum legal requirement, it is suggested to have trained first aiders, additional or first aid training specific to risk factors at a particular workplace, first aid kits, any extra first aid product(s) useful as per risk factors present at a given workplace and a designated first aid room.

How many first aiders do you need?

The number of first aiders suggested by the regulation depends to an extent on the number of employees that you have and particular risk factors at each workplace.

The minimum legal requirement is to have a appointed person in charge of first aid arrangements. In low-hazard businesses with fewer than 25 employees, you only need one appointed person to bear responsibility for first aid. Companies with 25 to 50 workers are suggested to have at least one person appropriately trained in Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and where 50 or more people are employed, one person trained in First Aid at Work (FAW) for every 100 workers is suggested. Higher-hazard firms must have at least one appointed person for a workforce of less than 5, for 5 to 50 workers at least 1 first aider trained in EFAW or FAW is suggested depending on the type of injuries expected during basic risk assessment at a particular workplace, and at least one person trained in First at Work (FAW) is suggested for every 50 staff over this number.

First aid kit contents

The first aid kit

Your workplace first aid kit may contain the following medical supplies in case you are a low hazard business:

  • a general first aid guidance leaflet
  • individually wrapped sterile sticking plasters
  • sterile eye pads
  • sterile bandages of various sizes
  • sterile wound dressings
  • safety pins
  • disposable gloves
  • You may include other items if applicable to your company environment and risk factors or type of injuries that are expected to happen, but you may NOT include drugs such as paracetamol or aspirin.

    Accident reporting

    You should have an accident reporting book for your business premises. If any of your employees has an accident at work or is taken ill, you must enter details in the book, including the date and time of the incident and any action taken.

    It is a legal requirement for all workplaces to have adequate first aid provision. You can buy fully equipped first aid kits and first aid kit refills by brands such as Steroplast and Reliance from our website. Order online for fast UK delivery, or for advice and assistance on putting together your company first aid kit, contact our helpful team today.