What is the law relating to first aid at work?
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 states that all employers including self-employed people provide ‘adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure that their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.’
So whether you are a one-man-band, small, medium or large company, these Regulations apply to you – they apply all workplaces even those with less than five employees, it also includes the self-employed.
The big question is; “What is ‘adequate and appropriate?” and it has no fixed answer. In fact is it really depends on the circumstances in the workplace.
Are trained first-aiders are actually needed?
What materials should be included in a first-aid box?
Is a first-aid room is required?.
The Health and Safety Executive deem it an obligation that all employers carry out an assessment of first-aid needs to determine what to provide.
If there is a risk of an accident then you need to make provisions for first aid, whether it be an item of kit or indeed a ‘first aider’.
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 do not place a legal responsibility on employers to make such first-aid provisions for visitors, members of the public or even children in schools, HSE strongly recommend that non-employees are catered for in an assessment of first-aid needs and that provision is made for them.