First aid at work

27 September 2019

It’s essential your business looks after the health & safety of your employees. And first aid training can be a major part of this process.

But what should your business keep in mind to ensure your workforce is safe across a standard working day?

Your legal requirements

As an employer, there are laws in Ireland you’ll need to follow. These are set out in the General Application Regulations 2007 – Health & Safety Authority.

But do you need a qualified first aider in your workplace? You should perform a risk assessment to consider the nature of the work in your industry. Then you can examine how it affects your staff members.

You should consider:

  • The nature of your industry.
  • Existing hazards and potential ones.
  • The number of accidents you record each year.
  • Size and location of your business.
  • Distance of your workplace to medical professionals.
  • the number of employees.
  • layout of the workplace.
  • work patterns, shift working etc.

If your risk assessment identifies the need for a trained first-aider, you will need to arrange to have a suitable employee trained up as an occupational first-aider.

The table below gives a suggested number of first aiders required for different types of workplaces.

Simple first aid procedures to follow

These are particularly important for industries such as catering, retail, and construction businesses.

But as a summary, you should look to have the following on your premises:

  • A well-stocked first aid kit.
  • Designated employees who are occupational first aiders.
  • Information for your workforce about first aid arrangements.

There are steps you can take to ensuring there’s a basic level of health & safety in and around your working environment.

For example, the right first aid supplies are essential. But what should a first aid box contain at work?

The guidelines recommend you have the following supplies available in a first aid box or travel kit as and when you need it.

The amount you’ll need will depend on the number of employees you have. Some of the required first aid kit contents you should look to have are those listed above.

Emergency first aid at work is, of course, a priority for any business—you have a duty to your employees to ensure they’re safe as they go about their duties for you.

You can refer to the Health and Safety Authority’s first aid FAQs for more information.

Training your employees

Depending on your industry, you may want to train your workforce to be capable with simple first aid procedures. These can include basic first aid for:

  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Bleeding and cuts.
  • Bee or wasp stings.

You can provide occupational first aid training to help your staff understand what they need to do. The skills and knowledge they’ll learn will help them establish and maintain the safety requirements your business needs on a daily basis.

Your risk assessment will dictate whether you must have staff members trained in first aid.

But you should have an employee appointed to look after your first aid equipment and around to make sure everything is fully stocked.

This situation is different if your workplace uses the likes of hazardous chemicals or dangerous machinery. In this situation, your employees should receive specific training to ensure they use such equipment safely.

Remember mental health first aid

With mental health awareness rising across the business world, it’s good practice to also provide training in this area.

Issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress can cause absenteeism and presenteeism—neither helps with business productivity in the long-term.

You can use an Employee Assistance Programme to help your staff. This can provide helpful practices such as:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • In-person counselling.
  • Telephone and live chat counselling.
  • Finance and debt management assistance.
  • Occupational and medical health assessments.

These can help to alleviate mental health issues in the workplace, as well as train your workforce about the common issues a lot of professionals face.

Need our help?

If you’re looking for assistance with improving your first aid procedures in your business, call us today on: 0818 923 923.

Suggested Resources