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First Aid in the Workplace: What Employers Need To Know

First aid in the workplace is an essential part of workplace security. In this article, we will help you understand how it works, analyse the needs of an organisation and follow all the proper legal requirements for organisations based in the UK.

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What Is First Aid In The Workplace?

First aid in the workplace refers to emergency treatment that employees receive when they suffer an accidental injury. Usually, this entails employees giving first aid to their colleagues, but it could also refer to visitors at work suffering injuries. 

There are certain legal requirements that employers need to adhere to when it comes to first aid at work. First, Health and Safety regulations from 1981 require employers to have a first aid kit in all of their working environments. 

In addition, employers need to ensure that there exists someone in their workplace who can administer first aid in the workplace. 

Depending on the industry, there may be additional requirements for businesses when it comes to first aid. Things like additional first aid training for employees or special tools in the first aid kit or even a special room may be required. 

That said, the aforementioned regulations don’t require employers to make first aid provisions for non-employees. For example, the general public or children in school. 

Even though it is not technically required, it would be wise to include or consider them in any provisions. It is important to note that these regulations apply to companies of every size.  

How Do You Conduct a First Aid Assessment? 

As an employer in the UK, you are legally required to conduct a first aid assessment. You can do so by assessing what potential hazards your workplace has and then prepare accordingly for any potential accidents. 

The following elements are essential to consider: 

  • Do you need a ‘first aider’ in your workplace?

  • Do you have any potential hazards in your workplace? What are they? 

  • What’s the overall size of your company? 

  • How far away is the nearest emergency service? 

  • What are your company’s working hours? 

  • Do you have regular visitors coming to your place of work?

Inspect all of these elements and see what kind of preparations you need to have in place when it comes to providing truly effective first aid.

First Aid Kits In The Workplace

Even though there isn’t a set number of items that your first aid kit should have, there are some essentials that should find themselves inside the box: 

  • A brochure showing step-by-step how to administer first aid

  • Plasters

  • Bandages

  • Disposable gloves

  • Sterile wound dressings (large and medium-sized)

  • Sterile eye pads

Your first aid kit should be in a visible place and all of your employees should know where it is located. Please ensure your first aid kit is at an easily-accessible location. 

What is a ‘First Aider’?

A first aider is an employee who has been trained to administer first aid in your organisation. An employee can become a first aider by taking the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) training and getting themselves certified. 

The certification for Emergency first aid at work (EFAW) lasts for three years and first aiders should take a yearly refresher course to ensure that their skills are up-to-date. 

How many first aiders might your office require? There isn’t a legal number required, but the HSE offers some helpful guidance along the way: 

  • 0-1 First Aider for 25 employees or less

  • 1 First Aider for 25-50 employees

  • 1 First Aider on every 100 employees if the company has more than 50 employees

Frequently Asked Questions about First Aid at Work 

What Are Two Requirements for First Aid in the Workplace?

For first aid in the workplace, two key requirements are having the proper tools to administer first aid and a skilled first aider who can use said tools to administer that first aid. 

What Is Workplace First Aid?

First aid in the workplace refers to emergency treatment that employees receive when they suffer an accidental injury. 

Do You Legally Need a First Aider at Work?

You legally don’t need a “First Aider” at work. But, you do need someone who can take charge of first aid in case of an emergency.

Why Is First Aid Important in the Workplace?

First aid helps your organisation not only stay legally compliant but gives employees security in case of accident or disaster.  

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