Accidents, injuries or illnesses can happen anywhere at any time, even in the workplace. To ensure that businesses are prepared to provide immediate first aid care to anyone who may need it, it is crucial that first aid provisions are in place. One of these provisions that may be needed is a first aider, but how many first aiders do you need?
According to current Health and Safety regulations, businesses and organisations are required to provide appropriate and adequate first aid facilities, people and equipment, so that any staff members can receive immediate help if they are injured or ill in the workplace. In order to understand what is classified as ‘appropriate and adequate’ for your business, a first aid assessment should be conducted.
When undertaking a health and safety assessment different aspects of the business such as its size, number of staff members, the nature of the business and possible hazards all need to be taken into account. This assessment will then highlight what health and safety procedures, equipment and personnel that need to be addressed, such as how many first aiders are needed.
If an assessment concludes that a business is classified as low-hazard and only employs a handful of people, then a trained first aider may not be needed. However, in all instances, an appointed person who is in charge of first aid arrangements is required. This person’s duties will include looking after first-aid equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services when required.
A low hazard business will also be required to provide the following:
- Educate all employees on – It is important that all existing and new staff members within a business are properly trained on the health and safety procedures within a business and know where any first aid equipment is stored.
- Provide suitably stocked first aid kit – the contents depend on your business and its first aid assessment, but ideally all kits should contain different sized plasters, eye pads, triangular bandages, safety pins, large and medium-sized wound dressings, disposable gloves and a general guidance leaflet.
A first aider is someone who has passed the appropriate training that allows them to appropriately treat patients if they have an accident, injury or become ill at work. If your health and safety assessment highlights the need for a first aider, then it is important you appoint one and get them trained immediately.
There are no exact regulations regarding the number of first aiders that are required within a business, it is down to owners and managers to determine what is required. Although it is a suggestion that low hazard businesses with 25-50 employees have at least one first aider, with an extra first aider being trained for every 100 employees after that. For a high hazard environment, it is suggested that there is at least one first aider for every 50 employees. It is also suggested that enough employees are first aid trained to cover all premises and shifts.