Making First Aid Compliance Simple

By law, every employer must complete a ‘First Aid Needs Assessment’. Your Health and Safety Enforcement agency cannot tell you what you need. The First Aid Needs Assessment is similar to a Fire Safety Risk Assessment; it is specific to your premises, business type and your employees. Legally you must be able to prove that the first aid provision is ‘adequate and appropriate in the circumstances’.

For example, if you have any of the following, these will all need extra consideration and perhaps increased provision:

  • Shift or lone workers
  • A rambling site
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Animals
  • Working outdoors
  • Working in remote areas
  • Employees with chronic illness
  • Children and babies visiting the site

As part of your ‘Due Diligence’, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure a suitably qualified trainer gives the first aiders the appropriate training. Although this may seem onerous for a small business, help is at hand. Here are some easy tips to help you get it sorted.

  1. How do I find out how many first aiders I need?
    This is the easy bit. To check your needs against the current First Aid Legislation, click on the first aid calculator below, which is based on the current First Aid at Work regulations and guidance. In small businesses, it may be sufficient to have an appointed person and a well-stocked first aid kit. The calculator will also compute what sort of things you need in the first aid box.
  2. How do I know my first aiders have been trained properly?
    The easiest way is to use a training provider that delivers an Ofqual regulated qualification or a qualification provided by the Voluntary Aid Societies. These include St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid.
  3. How can I find this out?
    When you are booking your course, ask the provider to confirm that they will be delivering “an Ofqual regulated award”. They should be able to supply the centre name and registration number or book with one of the approved voluntary Aid Societies. An Ofqual regulated Award means that the centre and the qualification must comply with the HSE’s guidelines.
  4. How do I know the trainer is suitably qualified?
    By choosing centres delivering Ofqual regulated awards, they will immediately comply with the requirements.
    When buying a car with a recent MOT, you know the vehicle is roadworthy. By choosing a regulated training provider, all the ‘Due Diligence’ is already done for you.

Click here for the first aid requirements calculator.


Health and Safety Executive – Selecting a first-aid training provider

Health and Safety Executive – First aid at work