Home > About Us
FIRST AID AT WORK - FACTSHEET
Every year thousands of people are injured or fall sick at work – some seriously.
A quick first aid response can mean the difference between life and death, or can reduce the severity of the injury. There is also a legal requirement for workplaces to take all practicable steps to provide first aid facilities under the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995, and to have procedures for dealing with emergencies under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act).
First Aid for Workplaces – a Good Practice Guide can help you manage first aid needs in your workplace. This guide takes into account recent regulatory changes, including the withdrawal of the Factories and Commercial Premises (First Aid) Regulations 1985. It can be downloaded from this website.
This fact sheet summarises some key points from the guide, and is particularly relevant to small to medium businesses.
What first aid does my workplace need?
First aid requirements at work fall into three categories:
- Suitably stocked first aid kits and facilities
- Where needed, an appropriate number of trained first aiders
- Information for employees about first aid arrangements.
Below are suggestions to help you organise your first aid kits and facilities, first aiders and information for employees.
But exactly what's needed at your workplace will depend on your individual circumstances.
Some workplaces have greater risks of injury and illness because of the sort of work they do. These risks are important in deciding first aid requirements, because different first aid may be needed for different activities. Circumstances that can affect your first aid needs include hazards common in your industry or workplace, dangerous chemicals or machinery used, dangerous activities like working at heights, the number of employees, and how far away you are from medical help.
You can use the attached Workplace First Aid Needs Assessment Checklist to help identify what's needed at your workplace.
What should be in my first aid kit?
Here is a list of suggested minimum contents for first aid kits in workplaces with no special risks.
Suggested minimum contents for first aid kits in workplaces with no special risks
- a manual giving general guidance on first aid
- individually wrapped moist wipes or saline solution
- 20 individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings (assorted sizes), appropriate to the type of work (dressings may be of a detectable type for food handlers)
- two sterile eye pads
- two individually wrapped triangular bandages (sterile)
- clasps or safety pins to tie bandages
- two stretch bandages
- six medium sized, individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings – approximately 12cm x 12 cm
- two large sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings – approximately 18cm x 18cm
- two pairs of disposable gloves
- one resuscitation mask.
Names and contact details for your trained first aiders should be kept with each kit, along with emergency contact numbers.
Completing the Workplace First Aid Needs Assessment Checklist will help identify what else should be in your first aid kit.
How many kits do I need and where should they be located?
You need at least one first aid kit in each place where people are working, which includes work vehicles. Additional kits may be required depending on the outcome of your Needs Assessment. There should be at least one kit on each floor of a multi-level workplace. First aid kits should be located close to areas of particular or special hazards and should be clearly visible and accessible to all employees.
First aid kits must be clearly identified using a white cross on a green background.