What first aid cover do I need?
Deciding on the level of first aid cover for your workplace can be a daunting task. Requirements will vary depending on the size of your workforce and the hazards in your workplace. Read our article to find out about available resources from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the you areas that you need to consider.
Assess your needs
Is your workplace low risk or high risk?
The level of risk in your workplace will determine whether any staff need formal first aid training and the first aid equipment you will need to have on site.
Small workplaces may only need a first aid kit and a responsible person, known as ‘the appointed person’. In a low risk setting formal first aid training may not be required. The ‘appointed person’ would be responsible for stocking the first aid kit and knowing how to contact the emergency services. For good practice it may be helpful for your appointed person to complete a short basic life support course, this is optional but does promote life saving skills within the workplace.
Larger sites with more employees or machinery may need formally trained first aiders for their site. The level of risk needs to be assessed and documented to determine what level of first aid training is needed.
How do I determine the level of risk?
Completing a first-aid needs assessment will identify the levels of risk within your workplace. The assessment will look at a variety of factors to determine your needs in relation to first aid cover. Key areas to consider are:
- The hazards at your site
- The size of your workforce and their shifts
- The nature of the work you do
- Holiday and other absences of those who will be first-aiders and appointed persons
- History of accidents.
Other areas to consider are:
- travelling workers
- lone workers
- remote working
- the remoteness of the site from emergency services
- multi-occupancy sites.
As well as the regular staff at your workplace, consider any members of the public that may visit your site or use your facilities. First aid cover will need to accommodate these people while they are on site.
Completing your assessment
Start with the handy checklist available from the HSE. Click here to access the checklist in the ‘First Aid at Work The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981’ leaflet.
Further information on typical workplace hazards and how to meet the needs that you identify are covered in the leaflet. Mandatory requirements are detailed in this leaflet with clear guidance on your responsibilities as an employer.
Are there examples of good practice?
A variety of case studies are available from the HSE website. Click here to access the case study exemplars.
These case studies will help when completing your own checklist. They cover common workplaces like offices, schools, retail and manufacturing allowing you to look at similar workplaces and how they are meeting their first aid needs.
Using the exemplars will offer an insight into similar workplaces and help to determine your first aid needs. Click here to view our range of first aid courses.