How many first aiders do I need?
First of all, if you employ staff, you have to protect them against illnes and injury. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981) say employers must make sure there are ‘adequate and appropriate’ first aid equipment, facilities, and number of qualified first aiders in the workplace.
However, the exact number meant by ‘adequate and appropriate’ is left open to interpretation. In order to find out the correct number, you should carry out a first aid risk assessment.
So the logical question is – how do I complete a first aid risk assessment?
As discussed in our article on risk assessment in general, this shouldn’t be a daunting task to put off. It’s an exercise in which you consider the circumstances of your workplace and make sensible decisions based on that.
Always have in mind the goal, which is to provide enough first aid equipment, trained first aiders and other facilities to suitably deal with a medical emergency.
Consider the following
- the nature of the work you do
- specific hazards and risks
- the size and location of your workforce
- the work patterns of your staff
- holiday and other absences
- your organisation’s history of accidents
- who else uses your building
- who else is affected by your work
As discussed the law doesn’t tell you exactly how you should protect your staff through first aid but it does provide guidance which you can use to plan. That guidance can be seen in full here.
As an absolute minimum every business should provide a fully-stocked first-aid box and a person appointed to take charge of first-aid arrangements, such as calling the emergency services if necessary. In reality, the vast majority of businesses should have at least one trained first aider on the site at all times. That means if your business works shifts, you’ll need to have one first aider available for every shift.
If you’re still unsure about exactly how many first aiders your business needs get in touch with us for a chat.