Why do you need first aiders in the workplace?
Workplaces can be dangerous. Whether you work in a low risk environment like an office or a library or a higher risk workplace like a warehouse, construction site or assembly plant, accidents can happen. Ensuring that you have first aiders in place can help to prevent this.
When people at work suffer injuries or become ill it doesn’t matter whether the injury or illness is caused by the work they do, it is important to give them immediate attention no matter what the circumstances. In serious cases you should call an ambulance. All businesses should make arrangements to ensure that first aid provisions are in place. It can stop minor injuries becoming major ones and, perhaps more importantly, can even save lives.
Not only does having a first aid plan make your workplace safer, it is in fact a legal requirement. Employers have a legal duty of care to their employees and are responsible for the immediate care of staff if they suffer an injury at work.
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 are responsible for governing the provisions of first aid by a business, and apply to all workplaces including those with less than five members of staff. The Regulations require companies to provide first aid equipment, facilities and properly trained people so that help is on hand if anyone is injured or taken ill at work.
According to the government’s Health and Safety Executive guidelines the minimum first aid provision on any work site is:
- a suitably stocked first aid kit
- an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
- information for employees about first aid arrangements
Making sure that your staff can access information about first aid processes, such as through posters in communal areas, is a simple way to get your point across. Also make sure that staff know who the designated first aiders are so that in the event of an accident it is clear who to contact, making the process easier and getting someone the care they need as quickly as possible.
It is important to remember that accidents and illness in the workplace can happen at any time, and the best way to avoid this is to be prepared. Provision for first aid needs to be available at all times, and its critically important to always have trained first aiders available. Who knows, your life may depend on it.
SAMS has a number of safety courses to help make sure that you and your staff are as safe as possible. If you want to improve first aid procedures in your workplace or train up your staff then check out our wide range of general safety courses.