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Introduction

This guidance applies to all workplaces.

The City Council is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all employees, for which there is a legal responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and further detailed within the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to assess the need for, and provide, adequate and appropriate first aid facilities for their employees.

The Regulations apply only to employees; there is no formal requirement to provide first aid facilities for non-employees. However, the City Council has duties to non-employees under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and first aid facilities may be needed to ensure compliance. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) strongly recommends that employers include the public and others on their premises when making their assessment of first aid needs. Managers assessing the level of provision required for employees, should therefore, also consider non-employees such as: members of the public, contractors, school pupils etc.

Further advice or clarification of points within this guidance can be gained from the Health and Safety Unit.

Principal Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The Management of Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Regulations 1999.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

Guidance

L.C.C. Guidance Note GN26 Risk Assessment.

H.S.E. Guidance INDG214 First Aid at Work, Your Questions Answered.

H.S.E. Guidance INDG215 Basic Advice on First Aid at Work.

Aim

To ensure that a standardised, practical and knowledge-based approach for considering specific risks to the personal safety of employees is taken by all managers, in line with current legislation and best practice. This will facilitate a safe working procedure as may be required to ensure adequate first aid facilities at all times.

Managers are required by law to make an assessment of significant risks in your workplace with regard to first aid.

Key Definitions

First Aid – is usually defined as the provision of immediate and temporary care to a victim of an accident, with the purpose of preventing or reducing the threat to life or health of the casualty.

First Aider – is someone who has undergone a training course in administering first aid at work and holds a current First Aid at Work Certificate. The first aiders’ course is usually three to four days long. Refresher training is required within three years of qualification. The training has to have been approved by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Appointed Person – (often referred to as an emergency first aider) is someone who, in the absence of a qualified first aider, takes charge when someone is injured or falls ill. Individuals who act as ‘appointed persons’ must have attended the one-day emergency first aid training course.

Responsibilities

Ensuring that a formal assessment for first aid facilities is carried out and that all control measures are implemented is a managerial responsibility. All relevant members of staff should be consulted when carrying out the risk assessment. Managers have to inform their employees of the first aid arrangements. Putting up notices telling staff who and where the first aiders or appointed persons are and where the first-aid box is will usually be sufficient. (Remember those with whom you have an extended duty of care e.g. reading or language difficulties.)

Members of staff have a duty to co-operate with their manager and comply with all controls in place to ensure safe working; for certain activities, this will include a formal ‘safe working procedure’. Employees also have a duty to inform their manager of any concerns regarding existing controls, the method of work, or new hazards that may not have been identified i.e. inform their manager of any shortcomings.

Staff who are trained first aiders have a responsibility to ensure that their qualifications remain valid and to undertake their duties in accordance with their training and recognised best practice.

All employees are responsible for knowing who the first aiders are, where they are located within the workplace and where the first aid boxes are located.

Risk Assessment

Situations

Whilst it is not possible to give an exact number of how many first aiders are needed within the many different City Council workplaces, it is essential that adequate numbers of first aiders are available at all times within occupied premises. An adequate number of first aiders must be available to cover annual leave and other planned absences of first aiders or appointed persons. Consideration must also be given to ensuring adequate cover during unplanned or exceptional circumstances, such as sick leave or special leave due to bereavement.

Consideration should also be given to factors such as:

• Extended working hours.

• Work related driving.

• Lone working.

• Working with harmful substances.

• Working with machinery.

• Dangerous loads or animals

• Numbers of non-employees on site.

Control Measures

When calculating the number of first aiders for a workplace, the number of non-employees (pupils, service users, visitors, etc) that may use or be present in the building at any one time must be taken into account. For example, a school may have 15 staff and 300 pupils. Therefore, first aider provision should be based on 315 people using the premises. The numbers of first aiders required also depends on the potential risk of injury. The following table from the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations gives useful guidelines to the numbers of first aiders required for low, medium and high-risk workplaces:

Category of risk Number employed at location Minimum number of first aid personnel

Lower risk (e.g. offices, schools,
libraries)

Fewer than 50 At least one appointed person
50 – 100 At least one first aider
More than 100 One additional first aider for
every 100 employed
Medium risk (e.g. warehouses or
workshops)
Fewer than 20 At least one appointed person
20 – 100 At least one first aider for every 50 employed
More than 100 One additional first aider for
every 100 employed
Higher risk (e.g. most
construction, extensive work with
dangerous machinery or sharp
instruments)
Fewer than 5 At least one appointed person
5 – 50 At least one first aider for every
50 employed
More than 50 One additional first aider for
every 50 employed

First aid kits

Arrangements must be in place to keep first aid boxes fully stocked. Consideration must be given to appointing people to keep first aid boxes stocked. Sufficient back-up supplies must be kept on site. In addition first aid materials must be disposed of if they exceed their use by date.

There is no mandatory list of items that must be included in first aid kits. However the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises that, as a minimum, first aid kits should  contain:

• Leaflet giving basic advice on first aid.

• 20 individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings (assorted sizes); appropriate for the type of work (e.g. detectable type for food industry).

• 2 sterile eye pads.

• 4 individually wrapped triangular bandages.

• 6 safety pins.

• 6 medium-sized individually wrapped sterile un-medicated wound dressings.

• 2 large sterile individually wrapped un-medicated wound dressings.

• One pair of nitrile or similar powder free disposable gloves. The use of latex gloves is no longer permitted within Council premises.

First aid kits must not contain any tablets or medicines.

In addition to increased numbers of ‘standard’ first aid items, additional first aid materials may include:

• Adhesive tape.

• Scissors.

• Disposable aprons.

• Individually wrapped moist wipes.

• Blankets; to protect casualties from the elements.

If mains water is not available for eye irrigation at least one litre of sterile water or sterile normal saline in a sealed, disposable container must be provided. Once the seal is broken the container must be disposed of and re-placed.

Additional first aid materials must be stored near the first aid container, in the first aid room, or near the hazard area as appropriate.

Information on first aid arrangements

At least one notice, identifying first aiders, must be displayed in a prominent location within each workplace. On larger sites the notice must also give an extension telephone number and/or details of where the first aider can be located, e.g. floor or section. If a workplace has a first aid room, details of its location must also be included on first aider notices. Proper consideration must be given to providing information on first aiders in other formats and languages, as appropriate.

Personal first aid kits for travelling or lone workers

Managers are responsible for assessing and meeting the first-aid needs of their employees who work away from the main site, for example those who travel regularly or who work elsewhere.

A risk assessment should be conducted to determine whether those who are continually mobile, work remotely from base and/or work alone require a personal first-aid kit and/or first aid training.

If employees do work alone, some means of summoning help such as a mobile telephone may be useful in an emergency.

Equipment

Defibrillators – there is no legal requirement to make a defibrillator available in the workplace, but a risk assessment may indicate such equipment is of benefit.

The Regulations do not prevent someone who is specially trained from taking action beyond the initial management of a casualty. It is important that the person who will be required to use a defibrillator, usually a first aider, is appropriately trained. Courses in the use of defibrillators are available. Training providers offering such courses do not need approval from HSE for this purpose.

First aid kits in vehicles

If at-risk employees travel in and operate from a specific vehicle, the first aid kit may be ‘issued’ to the vehicle (where it must remain) rather than an individual.

Contents of first aid kits for travelling or lone workers

The Health and Safety Executive advise that first-aid kits for travelling workers should contain as a minimum:

• A leaflet giving general guidance on first aid.

• Six sterile adhesive dressings.

• One large sterile un-medicated dressing.

• Two triangular bandages.

• Two safety pins.

Training

All managers and employees should receive sufficient training to enable them to carry out their duties in accordance with legislation and any specified safe working procedure. Refresher / continuation training is essential to ensure that competence and qualifications remain current. Specific training in risk assessment is available for all managers.

Training courses in first aid must be approved by the Health & Safety Executive. List of approved trainers can be found on HSE website. Training and instruction may be provided either ‘in-house’ or by an external provider. Regular refresher training is essential to ensure competence remains current.

Training in the correct use of any equipment provided must be provided as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Records of all training should be kept.

Review

This guidance will be reviewed annually or sooner should new legislation or knowledge become available.