First Aid at Work — Know the Law

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982 set out the essential aspects of first aid that employers have to address. Guidance to help employers understand and comply with this legislation is contained in the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance.

Goody Training Solutions strongly recommends that all employers download a copy of the ACOP to help them assess the level of first aid cover they require, in terms of personnel, equipment and facilities.

If, after assessing their company’s needs, an employer decides that they need first aiders as defined in the ACOP, then these first aiders should undergo a 18 hour (3 day) First Aid at Work training course with an approved training provider.

First Aid at Work certification lasts for three years from the date of the course assessment. To maintain certification the first aider should attend a 12 hour (2 day) requalification course within the three months before the original certification expires. If the requalification course is not completed within this time, the first aider must attend another 18 hour initial course.

In addition to the full First Aid at Work courses, there is a recommendation that organisations consider training for Appointed Persons. From the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance:

Even in organisations with comparatively low health and safety risks where first aiders are considered unnecessary, there is always a possibility of accident or sudden illness. It is important, therefore, that someone is always available to take immediate action, such as calling an ambulance. Employers must, in the absence of first-aiders, appoint a person for this purpose, though appointed persons are not necessary where there is an adequate number of first-aiders.

It should be remembered that appointed persons are not first-aiders and so should not attempt to give first-aid for which they have not been trained. However, as the appointed person is required to take charge of the situation as well as look after the first-aid equipment and, ideally, should know how to use it, training in emergency first-aid is recommended for appointed persons.

Emergency First Aid at Work training is a one day (six hour) course.

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