As an employer, it is your job to know the legal standpoint on all things related to your business. First aid is no exception. You must be aware of legislation regarding this area and begin drafting first aid procedures accordingly. These procedures will vary depending on the risks associated with your particular workplace, so a thorough risk assessment will be necessary in order to identify these. It is then your responsibility to brief your staff on your company policy regarding first aid.
All tasks are carried out with one clear goal; that in the instance that an emergency situation occurs, employees have access to immediate medical attention. No one can predict the future and accidents can happen at any time. The best that we can do is to safeguard against risks and have appropriate first aid procedures in place.
First Aid Needs Assessment
In order to best ascertain the specific needs of your workplace, you should carry out a first-aid needs assessment. There are no specific guidelines which state when and how you should carry out this assessment. The only stipulation is that the resulting provision for first aid is fit for purpose. As an employer, you should be aware of the risks in your firm. Look at the size of your facility, hazard risk, the type of work carried out on the premises and the distribution and size of your workforce. You may also want to consider your location and how accessible it is for emergency services.
At a minimum, you must have a small first aid kit on the premises. It must be kept fully stocked and you may need more than one for premises which are larger. An appointed person must be chosen. This person will be responsible for making first aid arrangements. Any information on these arrangements should be passed onto your staff. All members of your workforce should be aware of your first aid procedures.
However, the factors above may dictate that you need to make further provisions. Certain sectors may even require workers to undergo specialist first aid training in order to properly follow first aid procedures. Some examples of these can be in forestry, childcare or any healthcare professionals with a duty of care to provide basic life support.
Most firms of over 5 staff will require some form of training. Many who require a first aider on the premises will look to have a member of staff complete a Level 2 Emergency First Aid at Work or Level 3 First Aid at Work course. To make it even easier for firms to properly accredit their staff, courses now exist in a blended format to minimise their impact on normal levels of workplace productivity.
As of early 2016, the HSE has begun allowing the theory portion of these courses to be undertaken using an online teaching tool. Although the overall number of contact hours remains the same, the number of hours spent in the classroom is less. This can be favourable to business who wish their employees to gain certification without sacrificing too much of their working week.
Why First Aid Procedures is Necessary
Statistics recently released by the HSE showed that in the UK, 144 workers died as a result of a work-related injury in 2015/2016. Although lower than in previous years, this figure is still far too high. A further 67 members of the public also suffered a fatal injury in a work-related accident. Many lives can be saved by the administering of first aid. However, as much as 60% of people in the UK still would not feel comfortable enough to step into this role. We can change this but it requires more employers to realise the importance of a proper provision for first aid.
Firms which have comprehensive first aid procedures help to safeguard their employees from harm. Empower your workforce by allowing them to learn skills which could one day save a life. As we stated above, you never know when an accident could happen. You can, however, ensure that you are well prepared in the event that the worst happens. For further information on the first aid qualifications that we offer, contact us.