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First Aid in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know

Providing adequate first aid resources is a legal requirement for virtually all employers. But what exactly does that mean? This article breaks down the essential first aid provisions your business needs based on guidance from the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Conducting a First Aid Needs Assessment

The first step is assessing your workplace to determine the appropriate level of first aid personnel, training, equipment and facilities.

Factors to consider include:

  • Workplace hazards and risks

  • Nature of the workforce

  • Injury/illness history

  • Number of employees onsite

  • Remote workers or travel

  • Distribution of workforce

  • Proximity to medical services

  • Multi-employer work sites

  • Cover for non-employees

You should review and update your assessment periodically to ensure first aid remains adequate.

Providing For Mental Health

Your assessment should also evaluate mental health risks and ways to support psychological first aid, like training managers or appointing mental health first aiders.

Required First Aid Personnel

Depending on your assessment, you may need to appoint a first aid lead, provide emergency first aider (EFAW) training, and/or have certified First Aiders. First Aiders require more extensive training than EFAW and must stay current on 3-year certifications.

First Aid Facilities and Equipment

At a minimum, equip work sites with an identified, suitably stocked first aid kit. The number, contents and placement of kits should align with your needs assessment. You may also need eye wash stations if water access is limited.

Review Guidance Documents

For more details on legal duties, consult HSE guidance documents like First Aid at Work and advice on selecting training providers.

Stay compliant and protect your team by regularly re-evaluating and enhancing your workplace first aid provisions.

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