As per Health and Safety Regulations, employers are legally required to ensure that they provide adequate first aid equipment and facilities for the employees should they have an accident or fall ill while at work. This is easily achieved by providing a First Aid box which must be clearly identified by being in a container which shows a white cross on a green background and is easily accessible. The First Aid box must be adequately stocked and regularly monitored to ensure stock levels are maintained. The employer should also check the First Aid boxes to ensure that items are still in date and have not expired.
An assessment of your workplace should be carried out to identify the first aid needs that are required. This will vary depending on various factors including size, location, hazards, staff numbers and work activities. If the workplace has particular hazards for which additional first aid skills are necessary, at least one first aider should be trained in the specific emergency action which may be required. Some organisations opt to outsource the responsibility for this assessment to a qualified occupational health professional. Employers must ensure that all First Aid arrangements are clearly communicated to all of their staff.
Employers must also ensure that they provide a suitable number of First Aiders and/or appointed persons for their employees well-being. There is no legal obligation for an organisation to provide first aid for non-employees. The level of firs-aider provision depends on workplace circumstances. Currently no fixed level exists, but each employer needs to assess what would be deemed adequate in their workplace. The HSE does give suggestions for First Aiders/appointed persons in organisation and this is based on the number of employees. First Aid should be just that, it is the first person at the scene who is able to deal with the situation to minimise any injury or illness until qualified medical assistance is available. First Aiders should be fully trained with appropriate certificates which will require re-certification training. Currently courses should be attained under a HSE approved organisation, however, this requirement will change around October 2013 when new guidelines are introduced.