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  • Appointed Person First Aid
  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • First Aid at Work

From the HSE Website:

As a minimum, a low-risk workplace such as a small office should have a first-aid box and a person appointed to take charge of first-aid arrangements, such as calling the emergency services if necessary. Employers must provide information about first-aid arrangements to their employees.
Workplaces where there are more significant health and safety risks are more likely to need a trained first-aider. A first-aid needs assessment will help employers decide what first aid arrangements are appropriate for their workplace.


What do I need as an employer?

(paraphrased from the HSE website) We cannot tell you what provision you should make for first aid. You, as an employer, are best placed to understand the exact nature of your workplace and decide what you need to provide.

First aid provision must be ‘adequate and appropriate in the circumstances’. This means that you must provide sufficient first aid equipment (first aid kit), facilities and personnel at all times.

In order to decide what provision you need to make you should undertake a first-aid needs assessment. This assessment should consider the circumstances of your workplace, workforce and the hazards and risks that may be present. The findings will help you decide what first-aid arrangements you need to put in place.

The minimum requirement in terms of personnel is to appoint a person to take charge of first-aid arrangements. The roles of this appointed person include looking after the first-aid equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services when required. The appointed person can also provide emergency cover, within their role and competence, where a first-aider is absent due to unforeseen circumstances. An appointed person is not required to have any formal training.

If your workplace has more significant health and safety risks, for example you use machinery or hazardous materials then you are more likely to need a trained first-aider.

There are no hard and fast rules on exact numbers, and you will need to take into account all the relevant circumstances of your particular workplace.

Click here to go to the HSE’s Needs Assessment page for more information.

Rough guide to First Aid Provision:

My Business is Low Risk (e.g. Office, Shop)

  • Fewer than 25 employees – Appointed Person
  • 25 – 50 employees – Emergency First Aid at Work qualified
  • 50+ – First Aid at Work qualified

My Business is Higher Risk (e.g. light engineering, food processing, manufacturing)

  • Fewer than 5 employees – Appointed Person
  • 5 – 50 employees – Emergency First Aid at Work qualified
  • 50+ – First Aid at Work qualified

Note that these figures are guidelines and you need to take into account absences due to holidays and sickness as well as the other factors previously mentioned.