The law around first aid training at work can be a little vague. This makes it difficult for employers to get to grips with their obligations. This article aims to answer some common questions about first aid training at work, to help you work out where you stand.

Does every employer have to offer first aid training?

All employers are responsible for ensuring their employees receive immediate attention if they are taken ill or injured at work. So although the law doesn’t stipulate that all employers must train first aiders, in many cases this is advisable.

How do I establish whether I have to train first aiders in my organisation?

Firstly, consult guidance from the UK Health and Safety Executive. This sets out how many first aiders your organisation should have, dependent on its size and risk status. You can find out more about this in the section ‘How many EFAW and FAW first aiders do I need?’ below. You will also need to carry out a risk assessment. This will take into account the equipment your staff use, the nature of their work and any other factors that could impact workplace safety.

If your organisation is large, and if your employees work with hazardous equipment or chemicals, it is highly likely that having first aiders will be necessary. If you are a small organisation where your workers are deemed to be at low risk, it may be adequate to have a first aid box, as well as an ‘appointed person’ who will make arrangements to assist the injured person.

If, after your risk assessment, you feel you are not obliged to provide first aid training, you may still want to consider it. This is because an emergency can arise even in ‘low risk’ environments. This includes choking, tripping or sudden illness.

Does every workplace have to have a first aid kit?

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance states that every workplace should have a first aid kit. This guidance is not the law. However, it is a legal requirement to provide ‘immediate attention’ to injured employees. So it is highly advisable to comply with this advice in order to avoid breaking the law.
What are the different types of first aid training?

There are two main types of first aid training at work. These are known as FAW and EFAW. EFAW training equips the employee to give emergency first aid. FAW training includes the same content as EFAW, but it also trains the employee to help with a number of specific illnesses and injuries.

There is another level of basic procedural training which does not constitute first aid training. This involves having an ‘appointed person’ to assist someone who is injured or unwell. This may include looking after the first-aid equipment and calling the emergency services. This level of training may be appropriate for organisations who have determined that they do not need a fully trained first aider.

How many EFAW and FAW first aiders do I need?

The HSE advises the following for low-risk workplaces:

– Fewer than 25 employees: At least one ‘appointed person’ to provide first aid assistance.
– 25-50 employees: At least one person should be EFAW trained.
– More than 50: At least one person should be FAW trained, plus one for every 100 employees thereafter.
The HSE advises the following for higher-risk workplaces:
– Fewer than five employees: At least one ‘appointed person’ to provide first aid assistance.
– 25-50 employees: At least one person should be EFAW or FAW trained, depending on the type of injuries that might occur. Consult your risk assessment.
– More than 50 employees: At least one person should be FAW trained, plus one for every 50 employees thereafter.

Where can I find a first aid training provider?

This will depend on the level of first aid training you require. There are many providers out there – the key is to find one that matches your needs, based upon your risk assessment. Here at Knight’s Agency, we provide a number of first aid training courses. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help. You can use the form below or call 0207 112 8412.