Slingsby highlights the importance of following first aid legislation

Published:  05 September, 2013

Many organisations are failing to meet first aid legal requirements, according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.

Under The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 employers must provide ‘adequate and appropriate’ first-aid equipment, facilities and training so that anyone who has an accident can receive immediate help.

As part of this legislation, all workplaces must provide a first-aid box that is appropriate to the number of employees and suitably stocked. In addition, all employers should have at least one trained ‘first-aider’, although businesses in high-risk industries and those with large numbers of employees require considerably more.

Lee Wright, Slingsby marketing director, said: “We are regularly approached by businesses seeking advice about first aid legislation because some aspects of it can be confusing or easily misinterpreted. Furthermore, as health and safety has improved and accident rates have fallen across many industries, lots of employers have inadvertently relaxed their first aid procedures. However, the fact is it’s no use having a first aid kit that’s never been restocked or a first aider who hasn’t refreshed their training for years.

“Every workplace has to undertake a thorough assessment of first aid needs on a regular basis and someone needs to be made responsible for first aid. Typically, the appointed person will look after all first aid equipment and be responsible for calling the emergency services in the event of an accident. The number of first aiders a business needs depends on things like the industry sector it operates in, the number of employees and any previous history of accidents.

“Once a business has everything in place it’s important to make all employees aware of the procedures, and notices should be displayed explaining where first aid equipment is kept and who the relevant people are to administer it.”

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 is due to be amended from 1 October to remove the requirement for the Health & Safety Exectuve to approve first aid training and qualifications.

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