First Aid at Work Training Resource

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What an employer needs to do

Employers are responsible for ensuring that employees receive immediate attention if they are taken ill or are injured at work. Accidents and illness can happen at any time and first aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones.

As such, employers must assess the workplace and make appropriate first-aid arrangements. In doing so they should consider the circumstances of the workplace, the workforce and the health and safety risks that may be present to help decide what arrangements need to be put in place.

Small low-risk workplaces may only need a first-aid box and an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements such as calling the emergency services and stocking the first aid box. The appointed person does not need specific first aid training.

If a workplace has more significant health and safety risks, for example machinery or hazardous materials then it is more likely to need a trained first aider.

An employer is expected to:

  • Complete a first aid needs assessment.
  • Provide information about the first-aid arrangements.
  • Ensure there is either an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements or there are appropriate numbers of suitably trained first aiders.
  • Ensure there is a suitably stocked first aid kit.
  • Ensure there are adequate facilities.

What an employee needs to do

Whilst an employee does not have specific duties relating to first aid at work it may be helpful for the employer to be aware of employees with health issues, this will allow them to be considered in the first aid needs assessment. An employer cannot make provision for things of which they are not aware.

Where an employee may require urgent medication for a pre-existing condition e.g., a spray for angina, or an auto-injector for a serious allergy, they should consider informing their employer. With permission an employer can ensure trained first aiders are aware and receive additional training to ensure appropriate care is provided should an employee take ill at work.

First aid needs assessment

Small workplaces with low-level hazards may only need the minimum provision for first aid, other workplaces may have circumstances and factors that will mean a higher level is required. To establish the level needed an employer should assess the first aid needs appropriate to the circumstances of the business. The table below shows the areas that should be considered and the recommended levels of first aid provision.

First aid arrangements

First aid arrangements will be subject to the findings from the first aid needs assessment. The findings should indicate the level of first aid equipment, facilities and personnel required.

Where the assessment identifies workplace or workforce issues, or more significant health and safety risks, enough appropriately trained first aiders will be required along with additional equipment and facilities.

Employers should inform employees of the arrangements put in place for first aid. Putting up notices telling staff who and where the first-aiders or appointed persons are, and where the first-aid box is will usually be enough. Special arrangements will need to be made to give first aid information to employees with reading or language difficulties.

As a minimum, an employer must:

  • Provide a suitably stocked first aid kit.
  • Have an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements or have appropriate numbers of suitably trained first aiders.
  • Provide information to all employees giving details of first aid arrangements.

BestPump signage for first aid arrangements is displayed in the fabrication workshop, the pump workshop, the office boardroom and the office toilet.

First aiders & appointed persons

The findings of the first aid needs assessment will identify whether first aiders should be trained in EFAW, FAW or another appropriate level of training. First aid training should only be provided by a competent training provider.

EFAW training enables a first aider to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work. FAW training includes the same content as EFAW and equips the first aider to apply first aid to a range of specific injuries and illness.

If the first aid needs assessment identifies a first aider is not required, an appointed person must be identified to take charge of the first-aid arrangements, an appointed person is not required to have any formal training.

An appointed person is not necessary when there is an adequate number of appropriately trained first aiders. However, it is good practice to identify individuals within the workplace to fulfil the role as they can provide cover when a first aider is absent due to unforeseen circumstances. There are no fixed rules on exact numbers, it will depend on the circumstances of the workplace.

The table below acts as a guide to identify the suggested levels of appointed persons or first aiders that should be available in a workplace.

BestPump has 3 EFAW certified first aiders trained by a recognised provider. In the absence of a first aider BestPump will identify an appointed person as required.


The minimum level of first aid equipment needed in a workplace is a suitably stocked first aid kit. There should be at least one first aid kit for each workplace, although more than one might be required on larger sites. Each kit should be stocked with enough first aid materials suitable for the circumstances of the workplace.

First aid kits should be easily accessible and the contents should be checked frequently and restocked soon after any use. There is no mandatory list of items to put in a first-aid box, it depends on what the assessed needs are. As a guide, where work activities involve low level hazards, a minimum stock of first aid items would be required.

The needs assessment may indicate that additional materials and equipment are required e.g., foil blankets, cleansing wipes, cutting shears etc. These may be kept in the first aid kit if there is room or stored separately.

A typical minimum stock for a first aid kit would be:

  • A leaflet giving general guidance on first aid e.g., HSE’s leaflet ‘Basic advice on first aid at work’.
  • 20 individually wrapped sterile plasters (of assorted sizes), appropriate to the type of work.
  • 2 sterile eye pads.
  • Four individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile.
  • 6 safety pins.
  • 2 large, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings.
  • 6 medium-sized, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings.
  • At least three pairs of disposable gloves.

This is a suggested contents list only and the contents of a first aid kit should reflect the outcome of the first aid needs assessment. It is recommended that no tablets and medicines are kept in the first-aid box.

BestPump has 3 first aid boxes located in the fabrication workshop, the pump workshop and the office toilet.


The needs assessment may indicate a suitable first aid room is required. This will usually be necessary in larger premises or where higher hazards are present. In the absence of a designated first aid room, a suitable room must be made available for use and should be easily accessible.

Wherever possible, an identified first-aid room should:

  • Be large enough to facilitate suitable examination & treatment.
  • Have washable surfaces and adequate heating, ventilation and lighting.
  • Be kept clean, tidy, accessible and available for use at all times when employees are at work.
  • Ideally, have or be situated near a sink with hot and cold running water.
  • Be positioned as near as possible to a point of access for transport to hospital.

First aid rooms should display a notice on the door advising of the names, locations and, if appropriate, contact details for first aiders. This information should also be displayed in other appropriate places.

BestPump has identified the office boardroom as the emergency first aid room to be used when necessary.

Accidents and ill health

Under health and safety law, workplaces must report and keep a record of certain injuries, incidents and cases of work-related disease. RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) places responsibility on employers, self-employed and responsible people in control of work premises to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

Keeping records helps to identify patterns in the occurrence of accidents and injuries and helps when completing risk assessments. Insurance companies may also request to see workplace records if there is a work-related claim.

If an employer employs more than 10 people or owns or occupies a mine, quarry or factory, they must keep an accident book under social security law. Employers must protect people’s personal details by storing records confidentially in a secure place.

BestPump has an accident book in operation located in the office and all records are stored confidentially.

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