Health and Safety in the Workplace Level 2 (VTQ)

75 videos, 3 hours and 24 minutes

Course Content

First Aid Provision - First Aiders in the Workplace

Video 37 of 75
5 min 12 sec

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to make an assessment of the risk to the health and safety of their employees at work, to identify what measures need to be taken to prevent or control these risks. Information gathered from the risk assessment can help the employer carry out their assessment of first aid needs if preventative or control measures fail. Identifying the likely nature of an accident or injury will help the employer work out the type, quantity and location of first aid equipment facilities and personnel to provide. Generally, the larger the workforce, the greater the first aid provision that's required. However, employee numbers should not be the sole basis for determining first aid needs, a greater level of provision may be required when fewer people are at work by undertaking risks such as maintenance work.

Employers should provide sufficient cover for the various circumstances that can occur. Even in workplaces with small numbers of employees, there is still a possibility of an accident or sudden illness. Therefore, employers may wish to consider providing a qualified first aider. Employers are responsible for meeting the first aid needs of their employees working away from the main site, for example, those who travel regularly or work elsewhere. The assessment should determine whether those who travel long distances or are continually mobile should carry a personal first aid kit. Organisations with employees who work in remote areas should consider making special arrangements, such as issuing personal communicators or providing additional training. Where employees work alone, other means of summoning help such as a mobile phone may be useful for calling assistance in an emergency.

An employer should consider how the size of the premises could affect quick access to First Aid facilities. For example, whether an additional first aid provision is needed on a site with more than one building or whether the distance between buildings is such that additional provision would be unnecessary. Employers with multi-floor buildings should consider how many first aiders or appointed persons will be required to give adequate provisions to employees on each floor. Consideration should also be given to employees who work in self-contained areas and how their needs are assessed and met. Where the site is remote for emergency medical services, employers may need to make special arrangements to ensure adequate transport is available. Employers should inform the emergency services in writing of their location and any particular circumstances including particular hazards. On shared or multi-occupied sites, employers can arrange for one employer to take over the responsibility for providing first aid cover for all the workers. In these cases, a full exchange of information about the hazards and risk involved should help to ensure that the shared provision is adequate. All employers should agree with the arrangements and employees should be kept informed.

A written agreement between employers is strongly recommended to avoid any misunderstandings. Adequate provision must be made at all times people are at work. Employers, therefore, need to ensure there is cover for annual leave and other planned absences for first aiders or appointed persons. Employers should consider what cover is needed for unplanned and exceptional absences, such as sick leave or special leave due to bereavement. The regulations do not require employers to provide first aid for anyone other than their employees. However, many organizations such as schools, places of entertainment, fair grounds and shops provide a service for others and it's strongly recommended that employers include non-employees in their assessment of first aid needs and make provision for them. Employers should periodically review their first aid needs, particularly after any operating changes to ensure the provisions remain appropriate. To help with this process, it is recommended that a record is kept of the incidents dealt with by first aiders and appointed persons. When the assessment of first aid requirements has been completed, the employer should provide the materials, equipment and facilities needed to ensure the level of cover identified as necessary will be available to employees at the relevant times.

This will include ensuring that the first aid equipment suitably marked and easily accessible is available in all places where working conditions require it. The minimum level of first aid equipment is a suitably stocked and properly identified first aid container. Every employer should provide for each work site at least one first aid container supplied with a sufficient quantity of first aid materials suitable for the particular circumstances.