Importance of having first aiders in your workplace
According to Business Zone, up to 150,000 people die every year in the UK from injuries which could have been helped with first aid treatment. And although these life threatening injuries may not be particularly common within the workplace, there are around 200,000 minor and major injuries in UK workplaces every year – which is a lot of time and money you could potentially save if there were trained members of staff who could provide assistance and treatment.
As an employer it’s your responsibility to make arrangements to make sure that your workplace is as safe as possible, although even in the safest of environments accidents can, and do, still happen. This is why it is important to have first aid trained employees on hand in all workplaces.
A necessary step
The introduction of first aid is an important and necessary step for employers. According to Healthy Working Lives, employers must make sure that people who become ill or injure themselves at work receive immediate attention. Whether the injury or illness is directly related to the work environment or not, injuries can be prevented and lives can potentially be saved due to a trained first aider being on hand.
A first aider, according to the Health and Safety Executive, is a person who has done the appropriate training to the level identified in the company’s needs assessment. They say these levels of training include:
- First aid at work (FAW)
- Emergency first aid at work (EFAW)
- Or other first aid training deemed appropriate to the circumstances of your workplace
To decide what level of first aid training is required for your workplace there are some things you need to consider, including:
- Does your workplace have low-level hazards (e.g. things in shops or offices) or high-level hazards (e.g. chemicals or dangerous machinery)?
- How many people are employed?
- Do members of the public visit your premises?
- Is your business spread out over several buildings or floors?
For more information about assessing your first aid needs take a look at this checklist from the Health and Safety Executive.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 govern the provision of first aid from an employer to their staff. The British Red Cross explains that these provisions apply no matter how big a business is; even to companies with less than five employees. In 2013 these regulations were updated, meaning that the Health and Safety Executive is no longer required to approve first aid training. Although this gives employers more freedom when it comes to choosing a training provider it also means that there is more responsibility on businesses to ensure that the standards of the training are good enough.
This should not give companies the idea that they no longer have to train first aiders. You will still need to have a needs assessment and, dependent on the outcome, ensure that sufficient training is provided. It is your responsibility to pick a training provider that will leave your chosen trained employees feeling confident in their first aid skills. This is why you need to pick a training provider you can trust.
Here at SAMS we can provide level two Emergency First Aid at Work training as well as level three First Aid at Work certificate. The Emergency First Aid at Work course content is based around skills such as assessing an incident, dealing with shock, minor injuries, choking and external bleeding, as well as other things. To receive a First Aid at Work certificate you will also cover eye injuries, chest injuries, injuries to bones and joints as well as major illnesses.
As well as our classroom-based first aid courses we can also offer an online CIEH elearning Introduction to First Aid course, as well as other safety-based learning programmes to help make sure you and your employees are well looked after. Browse our wide range of available SAMS training courses or contact us for more information, or if you have specific needs you wish to discuss.