First aid at work training is a vital component for all companies and organizations, not least because it is a legal obligation. The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities, and personnel to ensure employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. These regulations apply to all workplaces regardless of the number of employees or self-employment.
To determine what is ‘adequate and appropriate’, employers must carry out an assessment of their work to understand its’ first aid needs.
In some cases, an employer may decide that a first aid box is competent in the event of an accident. However, if someone falls unconscious or is heavy bleeding, this equipment may not be sufficient to effectively deal with these emergencies. This is why organizations such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommend that all workplaces have, at least, one trained first aider.
Even in workplaces that may seem safe, such as offices and stores, many kinds of accidents and emergencies can happen. In the 2011/2012 period, 173 workers were killed due to work-related accidents and injuries.
There were also 111,000 other injuries to employees in the workplace, reported under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995). It is critical to be prepared at all times to quickly and effectively deal with these situations.
A trained first aider will ensure that accidents and emergencies are dealt with efficiently which will benefit your workplace in the following ways:
- by saving lives;
- by reducing time lost from work;
- by preventing minor injuries from becoming major ones;
- by minimizing the length and extent of medical treatment.
It is not just the legal implications that should factor into your decision to send employees on first aid courses as there are several ways it can benefit your company. Firstly, research has shown that individuals trained in first aid have fewer and less severe accidents, both on and off the job, than untrained people.
The level of awareness surrounding accidents and emergencies is also higher in a workplace where there are trained first aiders, meaning a lower risk of employees injuring themselves.
Secondly, training sessions, such as first-aid, will teach your employees life-long skills which will show them that they are valued within the workplace. If you are an employer that likes to plan regular activity and team-building days for your staff, having a first aider as part of the team will ensure groups are prepared for any accidents that may occur outside of the office.
Giving your staff the knowledge of first aid training is an invaluable way to protect your employees and could, quite literally, mean the difference between life and death.