There is risk in all aspects of daily life, but as an employer you are particularly responsible for the health and wellbeing of your employees. That means you need to have a robust health and safety policy in place, and an important part of that is first aid.
No matter how low-risk you consider your workplace to be, it’s impossible to say it’s zero-risk. People will find ways to injure themselves with paper, water, chairs and steps, but clearly there are risks present wherever there is electricity, sharp implements, power tools or toxic substances. That’s why a risk assessment is a required first step in any decisions as to implementing first aid measures.
Where there is machining or work with chemicals, for example, there will usually be a need for eyewash posts to be placed close to the places deemed most risky. There will be occasions where stretchers, breathing apparatus and defibrillators will be advisable, and antidotes and specialist remedies should be placed near known biohazards and poisons as appropriate.
However, even where risk is minimal, for example in an everyday office, there should be first aid boxes available to treat the minor cuts, grazes and bumps that are an inevitable part of life – just as most people have in their homes. Furthermore, each member of staff should know exactly where to find it and it should be checked regularly to make sure it’s well stocked with plasters, bandages, sterile wipes, eye wash etc.
First aid is covered by the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 and first aid kits must be compliant with BS 8599-1, which has recommendations for the number of kits required for businesses of various sizes, as well as the contents that must be inside them.
As well as the kits, you might need first-aiders too. These are people who work on the premises on a daily basis who have undergone first aid training on a recognised course. There are many good quality providers of first aid courses, but organisations such as St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross are always popular. It’s best to have more than one first-aider to cover periods of sickness, holidays and working away.
Peninsula’s First Aid Assistance
Peninsula is a specialist in human resource outsourcing and every such element of running a business, including first aid. We can initiate the process in our capacity as consultants in health and safety assessments, from which we can ascertain the level of first aid you’ll require. Because we are also experts in employment law, we will be able to guide you through all your legal requirements and make recommendations on how you need to respond to risks.
We can also help arrange your training and make sure you have the appropriate number of first-aiders for the size and nature of your business. Contact us online or call 0800 328 9348 and we’ll be pleased to discuss your requirements.