First Aid In The Workplace

946 946 sureadmin

First aid is the initial assessment of an individual who has been injured before the emergency services have arrived. The aim is to preserve life, prevent the injury worsening and to help the recovery process. This blog will look at what responsibilities the employer has and how to conduct a needs assessment.

Employer Responsibilities

Under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 an employer must:

Provide or ensure that there are provided such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first aid to be rendered to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work.


First Aid Materials
An employer is responsible for providing materials and equipment to allow first aid to be available at all times. A well stocked first aid box is the minimum requirement. The standards require the first aid box to have a white cross with a green background.

First Aid Personnel
First aid personnel should have achieved a certificate in competence by a recognised organisation.  Don’t forget to record the certificate dates to know when a refresher course is due.  The first aid assessment will identify the number of first aiders required and where they should be placed to be able to attend an emergency instantly. There are three categories of a first aider:

First aider- usually attended a three day first aid at work course
Emergency First aider – Attended a one day emergency first aid at work course
Appointed Person – Attended a half day at an Appointed Person Course

First Aid Needs Assessment

In low risk workplaces, the minimum requirement is a first aid box and an appointed person who is responsible for actions such as calling the emergency services. For workplaces that are exposed to higher risks, a first aid needs assessment will need to be conducted to identify sufficient requirements.

As the employer, you are in the best position to identify what is deemed as adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities. When deciding the amount of first aid required, you need to have in mind that the equipment and facilities should allow immediate assistance to employees and the ability to quickly call the emergency services.

Consider some of the following when conducting the assessment:

  • The size of your workforce
  • History of workplace accidents
  • Employee work patterns
  • Industry of work
  • First aider absences e.g. holidays

The regulations don’t specify the level of first aid facilities as this will vary at each organisation due to differing hazards present.  

Here is a look at a basic First Aid Needs Assessment conducted on a supermarket. FA Needs Assessment

There is no legal requirement to record the results of the assessment. However,  a record would be useful to justify a decision at a later date. The HSE or Local Enforcing Authority will look to prosecute businesses who fail to comply with the legislation to an adequate level. Therefore, it is important to take the assessment seriously. At the end of the day, it could be the difference between saving a life or not.

Eric’s Top Tip:

Eric is an expert in health and safety. This week he had this to say:

Regulations require employers only to provide first aid for employees however HSE strongly recommends that you consider work related visitors and non-employees such as subcontractors in your first aid provision.

What Sure Safety Can Offer

Sure Safety can help conduct the needs assessment to make sure you are complying with the relevant legislation. Furthermore, we can offer first aid training and tool box talks.

To arrange a consultation, call 029 2086 8802 or email Furthermore, you can visit:

Sure Safety can offer consultancy in the following areas: Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Fire, Accreditation, Training and Policies, Planning and Management Systems. For more information on these services, look at our website.  In addition, you can check out our Twitter and Facebook.

 Because Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident