Workplace First Aid Requirements – Laws on Equipment & Training

People at work can suffer injuries or fall ill at any time. It is important they receive immediate attention. First aid covers the arrangements that should be made to ensure that happens. It can prevent minor injuries becoming major ones and can even save lives.

workplace first aid kit

Workplace First Aid – Health & Safety Law

Health and safety regulations require you to provide proper first aid equipment. A workplace also needs trained first aiders to enable first aid to be given if one of your employees suffers an accident or injury at work.

The minimum first aid provision in any work site should include:

  • A suitably stocked and maintained First Aid Box which generally should include at least: two dozen wrapped sterile adhesive dressings in assorted sizes, two sterile eye pads, four individually wrapped triangular bandages, six safety pins, six medium sized and two large sized individually wrapped sterile unmedicated wound dressings and a pair of disposable gloves.
  • An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements.
  • Quick access to the first aid equipment during business hours and a trained first aider on site.

Having an Appointed Person to Deal with First Aid

An appointed person is one an employer chooses to:

  • Take charge when someone is injured or falls ill, including calling an ambulance, if needed.
  • Keep stock of the first aid box and be responsible for replenishing supplies when needed.
  • Be available at all times that people are working on site. This can mean more than one person has to be appointed.

What is a First-Aider?

A first-aider is someone who has undergone a training course in giving first aid. They should hold a current first aid at work certificate.

How to Assess Workplace First Aid Needs

  • You are required by law to make an Assessment of Significant Risks in your workplace. The assessment should look at the risks of injury and ill health. If the risks are significant, you may need to appoint several first-aiders.
  • You need to assess whether there any specific risks such as Working with Hazardous Substances, dangerous tools or machinery. Consider specific training for first-aiders, extra first aid equipment and making clear the location of the equipment.
  • If there are parts of your workplace which have different risks, you’ll need to make plans to deal with these.
  • You should review your record of accidents and ill health at work, what type of incidents happened, and where. This may lead you to review the location of the first aid box and its contents.
  • If employees have disabilities or other health issues, this should be considered when planning contents of the first aid box.
  • If your work areas are spread out over different floors and buildings, first aid provision must be made in all of them.
  • Shift work or out of hours working may mean you need to make sure you have enough first-aiders. Provision must be made for all hours in which your business operates.
  • If your workplace is tricky for the emergency services to access quickly, you need to plan how to inform them of your location in event of emergency.
  • Employees who travel a lot or work alone, mean it may be worth considering issuing personal travel first aid kids and giving these staff members with training in how to use them.
  • If guests or other visitors come to your premises, you have no legal responsibilities for them but it is good practice to include them in your first aid provision.

Other Workplace First Aid Requirements

You have to inform all your employees of your first aid arrangements. You should put up notices telling staff who the first aiders are and where they can be found. Where the nearest first aid box is kept should also be clearly signposted.

9 thoughts on “Workplace First Aid Requirements – Laws on Equipment & Training

  1. K says:

    My husbands work have enforced the 2 meters in the offices but can’t on shop floor and the guys have been told to continue as normal. First aiders have all told bosses that they will not treat anyone injured. They are still expected to carry on their job as normal and still use cherry pickers and machinery…. Surely this can’t be correct with everything that is going on at the moment

  2. Missy’s says:

    I suffered a lot of pain to shoulder and arm after stocking goods, I need medical attention , there were 3 staff on shift no first Aiders , should there of been ?????

  3. Titch says:

    i work in a well known major store cut my finger very badly ( needed hospital treatment ) and was told by customer service that legally they dont need to provide me with a first aider, pharmacy dept were not even qualified to put on a plaster ! No accident book available to record incident either, where do i stand legally

  4. T, g says:

    M my nephew was at work with a large retail store in the warehouse Andy accidentally cut his finger with a stanley knife there was not a first aider on shift at this time and they also could not find the first aid box is any of this illegal thanks for your time

  5. Kikinnsh says:

    Had a accident at work,one of the employees had high heart rate and strong pain in chest. First aider took the employee to the accident and emergency centre he did spend 6h with a person in a&e while employee was there as he didn’t want to stay alone .. when first aider came back to work he’s supervisor told him to work those 6 hours back what he spend in hospital with employe. .soo my question is, do first aider gets paid or no by law if he is with a employee in hospital .? Or how it was told he will need to make up on his off days back these 6hours ? Thank you ??

    • Safe Workers says:

      @Kikinnsh – The level of first adi provisions depends on the needs assessment of your workplace/industry. Some employers do not need at appoint a trained first aider but just someone who can look after the first aid box, complete any accident report forms etc. Other have to have trained first aiders. The most they mght be expected to do would be to perform any initial first aid and call an ambulance…possibly accompany the employee to A&E. After that time it’s reasonable to expect a family member or friend to take over, so the whole process shouldn’t have waited 6 hours at the hospital really. This is a matter to be settled internally or via a tribunal as there are no set rules. Try calling ACAS on 0300 123 1100 for more help.

  6. Bones says:

    My child had a stroke at work. Nobody was first aid trained to assist her. And nobody rang for a ambulance. Have they breached there duty of care towards my child.

  7. srhgllwy says:

    Can anyone advise me on the following: We have 3 branches within the business, none of which have more than 10 members of staff. I have read if there are over 25 persons in a low risk environment (offices) then a trained first aider needs appointing, however if you are low risk and there are less than 25 members of staff we can just appoint a non trained first aider in each branch – who is responsible for first aid box etc and administering minor first aid and dialling 999 in case of emergency. Can someone advise me if that is more than 25 persons in the branch or within the entire company…….this doesn’t make much sense if we train someone on first aid in Cheltenham and someone in Leamington needs first aid! Can someone clear this up for me?! Thanks 🙂

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