How many first aiders should a business have?

by Dennis Kim

Having first aid measures in place to help deal with accidents and incidents in the workplace is essential to the overall health of your employees and business. First aid regulations can be complicated which is why having trained first aiders on site is key to keeping everyone safe. This article will help you understand how many trained employees you need for your business.

How many trained first aid professionals are required by law?

According to the Health and Safety First Aid Regulations (1981), all employers must ensure they provide appropriate first aid equipment, first aid kits and other essential items. Understanding what is adequate and appropriate as far as training and equipment can be vague which is why first aid assessments are important. From there, once you know how many employees you have that are first aid certified, you can track numbers.

How to perform first aid assessments

Carrying out first aid courses and assessments can be a daunting challenge, but with Pacific First Aid, we make it easy. You or your employees can take a CPR and first aid online course, run through a first aid checklist post-course and choose the supplies needed for your business. Although it isn't legally required to keep formal documents regarding first aid certifications, it is recommended employers keep a written record. As an employer, you can use these assessments to demonstrate to an authority inspector how you decided what level of first aid experience is required for your business. Here are a few points to consider regarding first aid certification:

• What type of work is being performed on the premises?

• Does the workplace have a low or high amount of hazards?

• How big is your workforce?

• Do your employees stay on-site or work remotely?

High-hazard workplaces, including construction sites with heavy and dangerous machinery, will most likely require 2-3 first aid responders who have completed additional training. After carrying out first aid assessments of your specific workplace, you will be able to determine what level of provision is required by your employees and first aiders.

How many first aiders are required for my workplace?

The HSE, otherwise known as Health Safety and Environment, recommends that if work activities are low-level hazard (for example, offices and shops/boutiques) and there are fewer than 25 employees, only one appointed first aider as a minimum is necessary for the workplace. If the number of employees increases to between 25 to 50 people, then at least one EFAW (Emergency First Aid at Work) first aider is needed. When a workplace has more than 50 employees, then at least one first aider certified in FAW (First Aid at Work) is required.

Do employers need an appointed first aider?

If your first aid needs assessment shows that you don’t need any first aiders, then the minimum requires you to have one appointed person on the premises. This person will be in charge of first-aid arrangements including calling emergency services and maintaining first aid equipment. The appointed person doesn’t need to take a standard first aid course online in order to take on this responsibility.

At the end of the day, knowing how many first aiders you need in your workplace depends on the type of business you operate and the number of employees you have on-site. It’s better to be safe than sorry so having at least one first aider is never a bad idea.