Are You a First Aider?

First aid is the help given to a sick or injured person until full medical treatment is available. The Health and Safety(First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require an employee to provide suitable first aid cover in the workplace. First aid aims to preserve life, prevent the situation from worsening and promote recovery.

First-aiders are vital members of our medical field as they are the person who attends to our needs before a complete medical treatment arrives. In this blog, let’s get to know our first-aiders and their importance.

What is a first-aider?

A first-aider is someone who has undertaken training appropriate to the circumstances. They must hold a valid certificate of competence in either:

  • First aid at work
  • Emergency first aid at work
  • Any other level of training or qualification that is appropriate to the circumstances.

The selection of a first aider depends upon several factors. The person best suited to be the first aider will volunteer and will have:

  • A good disposition, communication skills, and be reliable
  • An aptitude and ability to absorb new skills and knowledge
  • An ability to cope with stressful and physically demanding emergency procedures
  • Regular duties in the workplace that can be left immediately to respond rapidly to an emergency.

There are two levels of Health and Safety Executive recommended first aid courses:

  • First Aid at Work
  • Emergency First Aid at Work.

NOTE: First raiders should be trained to deal with possible injuries or illnesses identified in the first aid needs assessment, so if the need for First Aid at Work (3 days) training is identified. It is not acceptable to provide Emergency First Aiders.

The responsibilities of a first aider include:

Assessing the situation

  • Work out what has happened
  • Count the number of casualties
  • Look for history, signs and symptoms.

Protecting from danger

  • Assess for further dangers
  • Protect yourself first, then protect others.

Getting help

  • Ask bystanders for assistance
  • Work out what help is needed
  • Call for help (or ask a bystander to call)
  • Recognise your limitations.

Prioritising treatment

  • Treat the most urgent thing first
  • Treat the most urgent person first
  • Offer support and comfort.

Minimising infection risks

  • Wash hands before and after giving help
  • Wear disposable gloves
  • Wear protective clothing if needed
  • Cover your cuts with a plaster
  • Dispose of contaminated waste carefully
  • Use sterile, undamaged, ln·date dressings.

How long does a certificate for first aid at work valid?

Certificates for first aid at work last for three years. Before their certificates expire, first-aiders must undertake a requalification course to obtain another three-year certificate. Once certificates have expired, the first aider is no longer considered competent to act as a workplace first aider.

HSE guidance recommends that first raiders attend annual refresher training. Annual refreshers are recommended due to the wealth of evidence on the severity of ‘first aid skill fade’.

Can legal action be taken against first-aiders?

It is very unlikely that any action would be taken against a first-aider who was using the first-aid training they have received. HSE cannot give any specific advice on this issue as it does not fall within HSE's statutory powers.

It is recommended that you seek legal advice or advice from your employer's insurance brokers on whether their policies cover first-aiders' liability.

How many first-aiders does an employer need?

The findings of an employer's first-aid needs assessment will help them decide how many first-aiders are required.

There are no hard and fast rules on exact numbers, and they will need to consider all the relevant circumstances of their workplace.

Where can I find online first-aider training courses and qualifications?

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited statutory and mandatory training courses for all sectors, including health and social care, education, local government, private companies, charitable and third sector organisations.

Alternatively, you can contact our helpful Support Team byclicking hereto tell us more about your first-aider training courses and qualifications.

Online first-aider training courses, qualifications and programmes

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Frequently asked questions and answers about first-aider

Here at The Mandatory Training Group, we receive many questions about first-aider. We have selected a few of these questions and answered them below.

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Still have some questions which you would like us to help you with?

First Aid Qualifications - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

Are you a first-aider? - The Mandatory Training Group UK.

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