First Aid at Work

People at work can suffer injuries or fall ill. It doesn’t matter whether the injury or illness is caused by the work they do or not. What is important is that they receive immediate attention. First aid at work covers the arrangements you must take to ensure this happens.

What do I need?

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require you to provide suitable and sufficient equipment, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given to your employees.

The minimum first aid provision at any work premises is:

  • A suitable stocked first aid kit
  • An appointed person to take charge

What should be in a first aid kit?

Where there is no specific risk in the workplace a minimum stock of first aid items would be:

  • A guidance leaflet
  • 20 Individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings
  • two sterile eye pads
  • four individually wrapped triangular bandages
  • six safety pins
  • six medium sized individually wrapped sterile unmedicated wound dressings
  • two large sized individually wrapped sterile unmedicated wound dressings
  • one pair of disposable gloves

What is the difference between an appointed person and a first aider?

An appointed person is someone you choose to;

  • Take charge when someone is ill or injured, including calling an ambulance if required
  • Look after the first aid equipment, e.g. restocking the first aid box

An appointed person should not attempt to give first aid for which they have not been trained.

A first aider is someone who has undergone a training course in administering first aid at work and holds a current certificate. The training has to have been approved by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

How many first aiders do I require?

The number of first aiders depends on the type and size of business. Visit the HSE’s first aid page for detailed guidance on the number of first aiders needed.

Do I have to do anything else?

Inform all staff of the first aid arrangements.

Put notices telling employees:

  • who and where the first aiders or appointed persons are
  • where the first aid kits are kept

Where can I get further advice?