The Importance of First Aid in the Workplace

As an employer it is your responsibility to ensure your staff are in good hands if they are taken ill or injured in the workplace.

When deciding what provision for first-aid is required in your work place, you need to consider the workplace itself, the employees and the hazards and risks that may be present.

Some small, low-risk workplaces need only have the minimum arrangements in place; a suitably stocked first-aid box, an appointed person to take charge of the first-aid arrangements and to ensure that all employees are supplied with the appropriate details, i.e. who the first-aiders are and where the first aid box it located. This appointed person does not need specific first-aid training.

If your workplace has more significant health and safety risks, for example you use machinery, hazardous materials or chemicals, then you are more likely to need a trained first-aider. Bear in mind that you need to ensure there is a minimum of one first-aid trained member of staff within the workplace at any one time. You may, therefore, consider training two or three employees to cover holiday entitlement and sick leave. Your first-aider(s) will also be required to requalify every three years.

If you have more than ten employees, under health and safety law, you must report and keep a record of certain injuries within an ‘accident book’. It is important that these records are kept in a safe, secure and confidential place to protect people’s personal details.

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