What Are Your First Aid Requirements at Work?
The first thing you need to know is that every workplace should have appropriate first aid equipment.
The minimum standard for these first aid kits is HSEcompliant; the suggested standard is BS 8599-1:2019. Employers should ensure they buy kits that are labelled as complying with one of these two standards.
The second consideration is personnel. Many query how many trained first aiders are required. There are two types of personnel that are relevant here. An appointed person is not first-aid-trained but is responsible for looking after first aid equipment and calling emergency services when required.
Whereas larger or riskier workplaces will need a first aider with a nationally recognised and up-to-date first aid certificate. It is important that you are aware of your requirements and keep training up to date. Often businesses overlook this when first aid trained staff leave and they are not replaced by anyone suitably qualified.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO BE COMPLIANT?
This varies, depending on businesses. All businesses should complete a first aid needs assessment. For more information, the HSE provides further detail and guidance. At this point it is important to consider that this assessment should also include an assessment of workplace stress.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HSE FIRST AID KITS AND BS FIRST AID KITS?
HSE-compliant kits should contain the following as a minimum:
- A leaflet with general guidance on first aid (for example,
HSE’s leaflet Basic advice on first aid at work)
- Individually wrapped sterile plasters of assorted sizes
- Sterile eye pads
- Individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile
- Safety pins
- Large and medium-sized sterile, individually wrapped, unmedicated wound dressings
- Disposable gloves
British Standard (BS or BS 8599-1:2019) is the recommended kit standard and provides a more comprehensive range of options, particularly with the addition of personal injury kits, critical injury kits and travel & motoring kits. If you are uncertain as to what is the right kit for you, contact us today.
A number of high-profile instances of defibrillators being readily available saving lives has led to an increased awareness of the benefits and businesses and sports clubs making sure they will be able to deal with such an emergency.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FULLY AUTOMATIC AND SEMI-AUTOMATIC AED?
- Fully automatic models do not require the user to press any buttons to deliver a shock. If the AED determines that a shock is required, it will deliver the shock itself.
- Semi-automatic models will inform the user if the casualty requires defibrillation and, if so, will instruct the user to press a “shock” button.
- Both types of AED will only allow a shock to be delivered if one is required.
- All units also provide clear step-by-step guidance on how the defibrillator should be used, instructing the user through the process of preparing the casualty for defibrillation and applying the electrode pads.
CAN ANYONE USE A DEFIBRILATOR?
Despite being a medical device, AEDs are designed for use by non- medical individuals in emergency situations. AED units are designed to only allow shocks to casualties who have a “shockable” heart rhythm, meaning that the use of an AED will not cause harm to a casualty.
As AEDs complete this analysis of a casualty’s heart rhythm and provide clear step-by-step guidance on how to use the defibrillator, they can be used by anyone without need for training.
CAN I BE SUED IF I USE AN AED INCORRECTLY?
It is almost impossible to use an AED incorrectly, as they are designed to be used by laypeople and will only allow shocks where the heart rhythm is determined as “shockable”. There is no law in the UK specifically to protect non-medical rescuers, in the event that a case is brought against them by a casualty or casualty’s family. However, this is a very rare occurrence and, when it has happened, no such claims against a rescuer have ever been successful.