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First aid at work – the law

First aid at work – the law

First Aid at Work – what’s the law?

When it comes to workplace safety, one topic that sometimes gets overlooked is first aid. But did you know that in the UK, employers have legal obligations to provide first aid at work? Under the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, employers are required to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees, including providing adequate first aid provisions. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for UK workplaces.

What is First Aid at Work?

First aid at work refers to the provision of immediate assistance and medical care to individuals who have been injured or taken ill at the workplace. It includes administering basic first aid treatments, such as bandaging wounds, providing CPR, and stabilising injured individuals until professional medical help arrives.

First aid at work – the law
First Aid Training – Snake Bite. First aid course.


The Law on First Aid at Work

Under the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, employers in the UK are legally required to provide adequate first aid provisions in the workplace. This includes:

  • Assessing First Aid Needs: Employers must conduct a thorough assessment of their workplace to determine the first aid needs of their employees. This assessment should take into account factors such as the nature of the work, the number of employees, and any specific hazards present.
  • Appointing a Competent First Aider: Employers must appoint one or more competent individuals to act as first aiders in the workplace. These individuals should have undergone suitable first aid training and hold a valid first aid at work qualification.
  • Providing First Aid Equipment and Facilities: Employers must ensure that adequate first aid equipment and facilities are readily available in the workplace. This includes items such as first aid kits, defibrillators (where necessary), and designated first aid rooms or areas.
  • Training Employees: Employers must provide appropriate first aid training to employees, including first aid at work courses tailored to the specific needs of the workplace. This training should equip employees with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively to accidents and emergencies.

Why is First Aid at Work Important?

Ensuring adequate first aid provisions in the workplace is not just a legal requirement—it’s also essential for protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees. Prompt and effective first aid can make a significant difference in the outcome of accidents and medical emergencies, potentially saving lives and reducing the severity of injuries.

By providing comprehensive first aid training and resources, employers demonstrate their commitment to employee safety and create a safer working environment for everyone. Investing in first aid at work not only fulfils legal obligations but also fosters a culture of care, support, and preparedness in the workplace.
Investing in first aid at work is not just about meeting legal obligations—it’s about protecting lives and creating a safer, more supportive workplace for everyone.

Ensuring your staff are informed, trained and safe is important to any employer and we at Ardent Safety can help you maintain a high level of safety through our range of first aid courses.

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