Do I need First Aid training?

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Every year, nearly 150,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. First aid makes the difference and saves lives. Recent awareness campaign covered by BBC.

In October 2009, the regulations in relation to first aid training changed.

Please find below our guidance to help you decide on your first aid training requirements together with an overview of the changes.

In the event of injury or sudden illness, failure to provide first aid could result in that person’s death. An employer should therefore ensure that an employee who is injured or taken ill at work receives immediate attention.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work. These Regulations apply to all workplaces including those with five or fewer employees and to the self-employed.

What is adequate will depend on the circumstances in the workplace. This includes whether trained first aiders are needed, what should be included in a first aid box and if a first aid room is needed. Employers should carry out an assessment of first aid needs to determine this.

The Regulations do not place a legal obligation on employers to make first aid provision for non-employees such as the public or children in schools. However, HSE strongly recommends that non-employees are included in a first aid needs assessment and that provision is made for them.

Assessment of first aid needs

Employers are required to carry out an assessment of first aid needs. This involves consideration of workplace hazards and risks, the size of the organisation and other relevant factors, to determine what first aid equipment, facilities and personnel should be provided.

How many first aiders do I need? this is an HSE guide
First aid at work - Q&A HSE free leaflet covering the common Q&A

Act with confidence

So far we have mentioned the legislation guidelines, however you cannot underestimate the confidence to act in emergency attending such training as ours can provide. At the end of the day, you want the person to have the confidence to act if required.

Recent Changes to First Aid Training

The recent changes to the First Aid regulations in summary form that took effect from October 09.

  • The 4-day FAW has been replaced by a 3-day FAW course.
  • The 1 day Appointed Person qualification is replaced with a new HSE approved 1-day course called the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification (Minimum of 6 hours).
  • The HSE are strongly recommending that all students of both the FAW and EFAW qualifications undergo annual refresher training. This is not mandatory.
  • Implementation of these new programmes will be October 2009 and no provider can start running with the new programmes until this date.
  • A new assessment of First Aid needs in the workplace
  • The appointed persons course will still exist for administrative roles.

The 5 point summary you may not know:

  • The HSE now regulate two qualifications; the 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and the 3 day First Aid at Work (FAW). The outcome from both courses is a First Aider.
  • The Appointed Persons 1 day course still exists, however the course is not approved by the HSE and although the course if often identical to the EFAW course, it does not fulfil any statutory requirements and the outcome is an Appointed Person not a First Aider.
  • If you employ five or more people then you may now need to have a qualified First Aider.
  • If you identify that you need a first aider, then in reality you need two. This is to cover for holidays, illnesses etc. All First Aiders must be re-qualified every three years.
  • The HSE highly recommended that all first aiders also attend a yearly refresher course. Note, the HSE states 'highly recommended', a Court would take a dim view to anyone ignoring the HSE!

Any existing qualification will still be valid until its original expiry.

Can we help with your training?

We hope that this has been a helpful guide to understanding your first aid training requirements. To see the help we can offer, please visit our first aid training page.