When thinking about what HSE means for your business, there are some first aid regulations that you need to be aware of in order to be fully compliant. Here, we will look at how you can meet these requirements.
Carry out risk assessments
First aid requirements are not the same for every business. In fact, each business will have a unique set of first aid requirements that must be catered for – for example, an office will not have the same needs as a lab or industrial buildings.
How do you know what your own first aid requirements are and how to meet the correct regulations? In order to figure this out, you will need to carry out a risk assessment.
Your workplace should always carry out a risk assessment to determine first aid needs such as how many first aiders it is necessary to have on staff. It will also investigate whether you need a dedicated first aid area available and if your workplace requires any specialist equipment such as extra burn kits and eyewash.
Employers need to take a wide view when conducting a risk assessment – cover for first aiders during their holiday or sick leave must be considered, and any existing health conditions among the staff such as epilepsy or diabetes.
The risks associated with the specific kind of work your organisation carries out must also be considered – the HSE will offer full guidance on all of these considerations and more, for business owners.
First aid training – facts and figures
Upon completion of a risk assessment, you as an employer should have gathered an idea of how many first aiders will be necessary to have on staff. This is worked out by seeing how many staff members you have on-site – so that no one first aider is overworked and there are others available to cover absences.
You will also need to see what level of training your first aiders require and if any special training is needed based on the type of workplace it is.
The HSE has laid out a four-layer framework as a guide on how many first aiders you will need and how they will need to be trained. This ranges from low-risk environments where there may not be a trained first aider but rather a dedicated person with an understanding of the first aid kit, to high-risk workplaces where specialist training will be required, and equipment such as defibrillators may be needed.
Staying up to date
Keeping your equipment up to date is an essential part of HSE compliance. Expired or otherwise outdated equipment can not only lose its efficacy, it could even be dangerous in some circumstances.
Make it a task of your first aiders to check their kits regularly and make sure that nothing has aged out of being useful, or if there is a more modern equivalent available.
The HSE has stated that there should be an appropriate number of first aid kits when compared to the number of employees on-site and that kits should meet the British Standard BS8599.
Record keeping and RIDDOR
The final essential piece of advice on staying in line with HSE standard first aid regulations is that you must keep accurate records. A record must be kept of each incident that occurs. Using a shared accident book is an excellent way to keep accurate notes and allows analysis of the number and type of accidents and injuries that occur – this can help when fine-tuning processes within the company.
Each first aider must know what a reportable incident is under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013), so that these notes are factual, useful and auditable.
With these points in mind, you can see how vital it is to ensure your compliance with regulations when it comes to first aid.
Not sure where to start? You can get in touch with Safe Industrial for help. We can support you by getting your business prepared and compliant with first aid regulations.
Helping you to source the right equipment and documentation, we will ensure that you are always up to date with the current legislation and, most importantly, your work environment is a safer place for everyone.