In any workplace, it’s a legal requirement to have adequate first aid procedures in place and equipment readily available to handle any unexpected accident or emergency that may occur.
Thousands of employees are injured in workplace accidents every year, many could have been easily prevented by a robust health and safety management system. Even if your workplace doesn’t seem like a dangerous place, accidents can happen at any time, anywhere.
As a minimum, a low-risk workplace such as a small office should have a first aid box and a person appointed to take charge of first aid arrangements e.g. calling the emergency services if necessary. Employers must provide information about first-aid arrangements to their employees.
Workplaces where more significant health and safety risks are present, it is more important for the company to have trained and competent first aiders in place. A first aid needs assessment will help employers decide what first aid arrangements are appropriate for their workplace.
What is a first aid needs assessment?
Conducting a first aid needs assessment will help you identify what type of first aiders are required and how many people need to be trained to meet legal obligations. It will also help understand where they should be to provide maximum coverage in the case of an accident or an emergency situation. If you need support with this assessment, contact our team.
What should a first-aid box in the workplace contain?
The decision on what to provide will be influenced by the findings of the first-aid needs assessment. As a guide, where work activities involve low hazards, a minimum stock of first-aid items might be:
- A leaflet giving general guidance on first aid (for example, HSE’s leaflet Basic advice on first aid at work);
- Individually wrapped sterile plasters (assorted sizes), appropriate to the type of work (hypoallergenic plasters can be provided if necessary);
- Sterile eye pads;
- Individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile;
- Safety pins;
- Large sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings;
- Medium-sized sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings;
- Disposable gloves (for advice on latex gloves please see Selecting latex gloves)
This is only a suggested contents list.
Employers may wish to refer to British Standard BS 8599-1 which provides further information on the contents of workplace first-aid kits.
Whether using a first-aid kit complying with BS 8599-1 or an alternative kit, the contents should reflect the outcome of the first-aid needs assessment.
It is recommended that you don’t keep tablets and medicines in the first-aid box.
How your business will benefit from first aid training:
First aid training will teach people life-saving techniques and how to provide appropriate care, even though investing in first aid training may seem costly, it can bring a range of benefits to your business, including:
It can save lives
- The main benefit of first aid safety training for your employees is that it will teach employees life-saving techniques, so they can act confidently and immediately in an emergency potentially saving a life.
Save your business money
- Even though enrolling your employees on first aid training coursescomes with a cost, having trained and skilled staff can help prevent accidents and provide immediate treatment to those injured. If treatment is not received immediately it could result in a further injury resulting in longer employee absence or even life-changing injuries or fatalities, which could also result in legal action against your business.
Improve employee morale
- Employers who care about the happiness and wellbeing of their employees will encourage stronger positive relationships, resulting in higher morale amongst employees and creating a more enthusiastic work environment. These can help increase productivity and produce more positive results from employees.
Can build team relationships
- Train your team all at once and it can help build stronger relationships between your employees. It’s a great way for your employees to get to know each other and work with people they may not have done before. A team that is made of stronger relationships and can work effectively together will have overall higher productivity levels.
Improve company reputation
- A company that has very few accidents and a strong first aid procedure in place will be trusted more by potential employees and customers. A serious lack of health and safety and breaches in Health and Safety Law could lead to prosecution. This can be made public via various news outlets and could potentially destroy a company’s good reputation. A safe, positive reputation will allow you the opportunity to hire the best of the trade, as employees would rather work for a company that cares about their health and wellbeing whilst at work.
Because of the many benefits to businesses we run regular 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work Face to Face Training delivered at our base in Lincoln or onsite for clients.
We can also arrange First Aid at Work (3 day course) for high risk workplaces.
We also offer a range of eLearning courses that compliment and keep your knowledge fresh. Visit our training pages for more information or contact us.
To view our post on how to use CPR to save a life in an emergency – How to use CPR to Save a Life in an Emergency – Optimum Safety (optimum-safety.co.uk)