What is the role of a first aider in the workplace?

Understanding the vital role of a first aider: A guide for all workplaces

In any workplace, the importance of having trained first aiders cannot be overstated. They are the first responders who can make the difference between life and death, or between rapid recovery and long-term disability. In this blog, Rose dives into the crucial role of first aiders, underpinned by current legislation and best practices, highlighting why effective first aid training is essential for all types of businesses.

The Importance of first aid in the workplace

Effective first aid provision is crucial across all sectors. It not only meets legal requirements but also plays a critical role in safeguarding employees’ health, minimising the severity of injuries and illnesses, and ensuring a swift and safe return to work. Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest that prompt first aid response can significantly reduce the consequences of accidents and emergencies in the workplace.

Relevant legislation and regulations

The provision of first aid in UK workplaces is mandated by:

  • Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 - These regulations require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities, and trained personnel.
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 - Employers must assess workplace risks and implement appropriate first aid measures.

Non-compliance can lead to fines and damage to business reputation, making first aid a legal as well as a moral responsibility.

The role and responsibilities of a first aider

A first aider’s responsibilities extend beyond just responding to accidents:

  • Assessment of the situation - Assessing the environment to ensure the safety of themselves and the casualty.
  • Provision of first aid - Executing basic first aid procedures such as CPR, control of bleeding, and shock management.
  • Communication and documentation - Coordinating with emergency services and documenting incidents are crucial for legal and medical follow-up.

Implementing best practices

Best practices for effective first aid include:

  • Regular training and refreshers - Keeping skills up-to-date with regular accredited training.
  • Adequate first aid supplies - Ensuring that first aid kits are stocked and accessible.
  • Emergency preparedness drills - Conducting drills to prepare employees for real-life emergencies.


  • Conduct regular audits - Regularly re-evaluate your first aid procedures and training needs.
  • Invest in quality training - Opt for accredited first aid training that meets national standards.
  • Create a culture of safety - Encourage a workplace environment where safety is a shared responsibility.


First aiders are an indispensable part of the safety infrastructure of any organisation. Proper training and strategic placement of first aiders throughout the workplace ensure that every potential emergency can be effectively managed. Compliance with legislation is just the beginning; the real goal is to create a safe and responsive work environment.

Empower your team with essential first aid skills

Ensure your workplace is equipped to handle any emergency by training your staff with accredited first aid courses. Click here to explore our range of first aid training courses and qualifications. Protect your employees and your business by being prepared for the unexpected. Invest in first aid training today.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Understanding the vital role of a first aider - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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