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Ultimate Workplace First Aid Guide To follow

workplace safety

Ultimate Workplace First Aid Guide To follow

First aid is emergency care given immediately to an injured person in order to preserve life. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. There is a lot of attention to detail when it comes to understanding the First Aid service.

Before providing first and immediate assistance to any person suffering from either a minor or severe illness or injury, it is a must to have the right skills, adequate knowledge and a tremendous amount of confidence to do it without freaking out or your hands shaking.

First aid is given as soon as possible to a person who is injured; therefore, basic medical training is an uncompromising condition to prevent any accidental injuries from worsening and potential penalties.

What is First aid at work?

Have you ever thought of having someone trained to come to the rescue if there is an accident in your office? A smart employer will definitely do that! Besides, it is a legal requirement for all businesses to ensure their employees receive immediate attention to the highest standard.

No matter how much you think your workplace is accident-proof, there are some certain risks you wouldn’t think of until they happen!

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 2.3 million employees worldwide succumb to work-related accidents or illness each year. On the other hand, up to 150,000 people, a year could be dying unnecessarily because of inadequate first aid training, or the absence of trained first-aider at the scene of accidents.

It is often the responsibility of HR to meet the key aims of first aid at work as well as ensure legal compliance. The two primary objectives of first aid at work are as follows:

  • Providing immediate assistance to someone with a common injury or illness
  • Summoning professional help in a more serious medical situation

Why we need Workplace First Aid guide?

Every year, thousands of people all over the world die or are seriously injured in work-related incidents. Many deaths or injuries could be prevented if first aid was given before emergency services arrive.

Unfortunate incidents may happen unexpectedly and unintentionally, yet having qualified first aiders in the workplace, including knowledge of correct principles and practices of first aid, are vital to ensure the most likely mishaps will not occur at work.

Keep in mind that only employees trained in first aid should assist the injured or ill person. It is not advised to give first aid treatment if you do not have the proper training.

During an injury or illness situation, employees should know how to respond correctly by taking the right steps, such as:

  • Procedures to be followed when first aid is needed (including what types of injuries should be reported), including an understanding of who to call for help, remaining with the victim until first aid attendants arrive, etc.
  • Use the first aid kit(s)
  • Have a list of first aid attendants (e.g. where to find the attendant or a telephone number)
  • Find a list of nearest medical facilities (name, address, operating hours and telephone numbers)
  • Keeping a list of the organisation’s key personnel, including names, titles and telephone numbers that are prioritised by “call first, call second, call last”, etc.


Workplace first aid guideline

Human life is precious, and it is vital to be prepared for any uncertainties than to feel regret later. Since an accident can occur at any time in the workplace, it is a must to have someone around always who is professionally trained to help.

The focus of this article is to present the most up-to-date workplace first aid guideline for sensible and conscious employers who genuinely care for their employees. If you are one of those employers who don’t compromise the health and safety of your employees, then keep reading


>> According to the UK Government Health and Safety Executive (HSE):

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places an obligation on employers to assess risks and, where necessary, take action to eliminate or control the risks
  • The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work
  • These regulations apply to all workplaces, including those with less than five employees and the self-employed

>> It is a legal duty of employers to have arrangements in order to ensure employees get immediate help if taken ill or injured at work. This applies regardless of whether or not the incident was caused directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, by the work itself.

>> ‘Adequate and appropriate’ will differ from workplace to workplace. Employers are best placed to understand the nature of the work and should assess what their first aid needs are and carry out a comprehensive assessment of first-aid needs on their premises.

Employers need to be aware of all aspects of the working environment that could contribute to an incident requiring first-aid response. Such as:

  • any active machinery
  • chemicals and other hazardous materials
  • uneven or elevated floors and walkways
  • confined spaces
  • areas exposed to harsh weather conditions
  • electrical hazards
  • on-site traffic
  • sharp or heavy implements
  • slipping or tripping hazards
  • any other potential sources of accident or injury

>> Employers must have a suitably stocked first aid kit, including the location of the appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel. A minimum first aid kit might contain:

  • a leaflet with general guidance on first aid
  • sterile eye pads
  • individually wrapped sterile plasters of assorted sizes and shapes
  • individually wrapped triangular bandages (preferably sterile)
  • safety pins
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • large and medium-sized sterile, individually wrapped, unmedicated wound dressings
  • disposable sterile gloves
  • saline solution

Generally, the contents of the first aid kit should be based on the first aid needs assessment. Please note; it is necessary to check the equipment regularly since many items, particularly sterile ones, are marked with expiry dates.

Regular checking of the first aid kit will enable those responsible for replacing expired items. If a sterile item doesn’t have an expiry date, it is advised to check with the manufacturer to find out how long it can be kept for. For non-sterile items without dates, it is better to check that they are still fit for purpose.

>> Employers should have an appointed person or people at all times is a MINIMUM requirement in any workplace, who is/are in charge of the first-aid arrangements as well as responsible for informing all employees of the arrangements in place for the provision of first-aid. This includes looking after the equipment, along with facilities and calling the emergency service. However, there’s no law to say that a workplace must have trained first aiders on site.

Generally, first aiders are trained by a qualified training provider in:

  • emergency first aid at work (EFAW) – at this level they’re trained to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work
  • first aid at work (FAW) – qualified to EFAW level but can also apply first aid to a range of specific injuries and illnesses

Before choosing the first aid training for the workplace, employers should be aware of the four types of provider.

  • regulated qualifications from an awarding organisation (AO) – these are recognised and regulated by Ofqual, the Welsh Government or the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
  • voluntary approval schemes, such as a trade body accredited by a third party – the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the national accreditation body recognised by the government
  • independent training where the provider can prove their competence
  • training from one of the three Voluntary Aid Societies recognised by the government:
    • St John Ambulance
    • British Red Cross
    • St Andrew’s First Aid

>> While there is no legal requirement for employers to provide adequate first-aid responses for non-employees, including the public, HSE strongly recommends that all potential site visitors be included in the needs assessment and catered for accordingly.

Benefits of First aid training

Whether the workplace is located on a construction site, in a factory, workshop or in a traditional office, anyone may need first aid anytime at work. Any employee can have an accident or get ill; that’s why having proper knowledge and skills in first aid are needed to look after the victims until they are under hospital care.

Therefore, first aid training is vital for all employees and applies to every industry, regardless of size. In fact, every employer is responsible for the safety of their employees in the workplace, yet most of the time, first aid training is frequently overlooked by employers.

First aid training  provides critical knowledge and confidence to manage an emergency without fear or confusion effectively. Moreover, here are five major benefits of first aid training for both employers and employees.

Save lives: During a medical emergency, a fast first aider response can be the difference between life and death. Employers and employees trained in first aid will understand the immediate action that needs to be taken during an emergency. Having knowledge of first aid can help them to reduce the injured person’s pain, at least temporarily.

Reduce the number of accidents in the workplace: Through proper training, employees will become more safety aware, helping to reduce the number of accidents and increase productivity when dealing with workplace injuries.

Know the proper use of First aid kits: In first aid training, employees learn how to use the tools of a first aid kit correctly to cope with a situation when an emergency arises.

Encourage healthy and safe living: Adequate knowledge of first aid promotes a sense of safety and well-being amongst both employers and employees. By being able to provide basic first aid care, employees are aware of the steps that help in stabilising an injured person until emergency medical services arrive.

Develop the confidence to care: After first aid training, employees feel more confident while providing first aid service in a wide range of non-medical day-to-day situations.

Final words

First aid training is a critical part of the workplace that should not be overlooked by anyone, at any cost. Not only does it ensure that any unexpected circumstances or accidents will be handled with care, but it is a legal obligation that can be high-priced if ignored or underestimated. Moreover, it is crucial to instil confidence in employees that they are well looked after by providing an excellent first aid service in the workplace.