The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, require employers to make sure that they have sufficient first aid provision for their workforce. This will require an assessment to decide on numbers, skills and type of first aiders their business needs.
Since October 2013, the Health and Safety Executive HSE no longer oversees the qualification stream. But HSE will prosecute in cases where there is a disregard for established standards or persistent poor compliance with the law. Currently employers have two choices, the first is getting staff to go on one of the many courses where trainers do not uphold the standards set by the HSE before October 2013. Whilst this is not illegal, the risk falls on the employer if, after an accident equipment is deemed inadequate or staff are shown to have been poorly trained. The onus is on the employer to ensure due diligence and vet that a course is fit for purpose, a minefield to say the least!
The second and safer option is to send delegates on a course like that provided by Solent Medical Skills. On our courses, we train up to and beyond the level required to satisfy the HSE.
Your legal obligations may include:
- Training and refresher courses
- Adequate first aid kits and equipment for type of work
- Ensuring staff are aware of how to access first aid skills
What do you look for in a first aider?
People deemed suitable for this role will need certain qualities. This will include:
- A good disposition
- A good communicator
- Ability to absorb new skills and knowledge
- Ability to cope with stressful and physically demanding emergency procedures
- Duties that are flexible enough to allow the first aider to attend immediately should an incident arise.