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The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.

These Regulations apply to all workplaces including those with less than five employees and to the self-employed.

What is ‘adequate and appropriate’ will depend on the circumstances in the workplace. This includes whether trained first-aiders are needed, what should be included in a first-aid box and if a first-aid room is required. Employers should carry out an assessment of first-aid needs to determine what to provide.

The Regulations do not place a legal duty on employers to make first-aid provision for non-employees such as the public or children in schools. However, HSE strongly recommends that non-employees are included in an assessment of first-aid needs and that provision is made for them.

Employers are required to carry out an assessment of first-aid needs. This involves consideration of workplace hazards and risks, the size of the organisation and other relevant factors, to determine what first-aid equipment, facilities and personnel should be provided.

If you are self employed you are required to ensure you have such equipment, as may be adequate and appropriate in the circumstances, to provide first aid to yourself while at work.

There are special requirements for first aid provision in sectors like off shore work or diving.

You can get full guidance from the first aid approved code of practice which we have put a link on the student download area of this course.

This guidance is for employers and it sets out what you need to do to address first-aid provision in the workplace.

It provides guidance on:

• managing the provision of first aid (first-aid kit, equipment, rooms etc)

• requirements and training for first-aiders

• requirements for appointed persons

• making employees aware of first-aid arrangements

• and finally, first aid and the self-employed cases where first-aid regulations do not apply.

The First Aid Regulations state that where an employer provides first-aiders in the workplace, they should ensure they have undertaken suitable training, have an appropriate first-aid qualification and remain competent to perform their role.

Typically, first-aiders will hold a valid certificate of competence in either first aid at work (FAW) or emergency first aid at work (EFAW). 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 EFAW and also equips the first-aider to apply first aid to a range of specific injuries and illnesses.