Sep 26, 2013

First Aid As Important As Ever



With the amendments to The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 coming into force on the 1st October 2013 which will remove the requirement for the HSE to approve first aid training and qualifications, giving businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers and first aid training that is right for their workplace.


It is important for employers to realise that this will increase their responsibility to ensure the quality of their first-aid training providers they use.


Employers will still be required by law to provide trained first aiders, adequate and appropriate equipment and personnel to provide assistance to injured or ill employees based on their assessment of their first aid and emergency needs.


Employers are free to select a training provider that best suits their needs but they must also ensure the first aid practices being taught are correct and up-to-date.


The HSE has issued guidance documents to clarify legal requirements and provide practical help to businesses in assessing and understanding their first aid requirements.


As with any changes in Health and safety legislation, especially where there appears to be an element of deregulation it is essential that employers do not fall into the trap of thinking that this reduces risks or accountability for workplace accidents. Provision of first aid does not become less important or less serious simply because of the changes that this amendment will bring to the first aid training market.


First aid skills can help to save lives and prevent minor accidents and illnesses becoming more serious. In order to get the best out of the investment in first aid provision and maximise the effectiveness of first aid arrangements in the workplace employers will need to look carefully at who they select to provide the training to their appointed first aid personnel.



Paul Venter

Health and Safety Consultant