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Can anyone administer first aid?

29/11/2023

One colleague listening to another to depict what mental health first aid may look like
First aid is an important life skill that literally saves lives, especially in the workplace. Accidents and injuries can occur at any time, so it’s essential to be prepared to provide immediate help. However, it does beg the question: 

Can anyone administer first aid at work? 

As an employer, one of your primary responsibilities is to ensure the safety and well-being of your employees. A safe work environment not only protects your staff from harm but also promotes productivity and morale. Here in the UK, employers actually have a legal duty to provide first aid to their employees who are injured or become ill at work, and really should be able to do so for people who are not employees too. Whilst theoretically anyone can administer first aid in an emergency situation, it is worth assessing your first-aid needs and consider first aid training for members of staff.  It’s worth remembering that the responsibility for administering first aid at work primarily lies with the employer, so it’s worth making sure that appropriate provisions are in place.

First aid training is an important skill to have.  It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively in emergency situations. Accidents and injuries can occur in any workplace, regardless of the industry or nature of work so having trained employees  can make a big difference in the outcome of such incidents. Whether it’s a minor cut or a more serious medical emergency, having trained individuals on-site can mean the difference between life and death.

Why do we need a trained first aider?

First aid training makes sure that the people in your business know what to do, and learn the skills to be able to respond as needed in a range of medical emergencies from injuries, to shock, poisoning or CPR. 

The benefits of having properly trained people?

Obviously, we are going to say that having trained first aiders in the workplace is hugely beneficial but it genuinely does promote a safer working environment.  When you have someone (or several people) who are able to respond to emergencies in a stressful situation, and are knowledgeable and skilled in first aid, it can make a big difference in the outcome. Their ability to provide immediate care can help reduce the severity of injuries and improve overall outcomes. It’s also worth noting that having trained personnel demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of your employees, which is always a good thing.

Building a First Aid Team

There might be a number of reasons why you are looking to have a trained first aider in your workplace, or even a team of first aid trained people.  One of the biggest factors to consider is how willing someone is to take on the responsibility of responding to emergencies. Ideally, they should be spread across different areas of the workplace to ensure quick access during an incident.  If you have a large workplace, it pays to have trained first aiders throughout the premises to reduce response times and make sure that help is readily available when needed.

First Aid Training and Refresher Courses

First aid skills should be regularly updated.  Our own First Aid at Work  training course takes three days and lasts for 3 years however we also have an annual skills update training course because three years can be a long time between accreditation – if you’re lucky enough not to use your first aid training, then sometimes it can be difficult to recall all of the important lessons. There is also a 2-day First Aid at Work Requalification course for those who want to continue on being your first aider when the three years expires.  These courses give first aiders the opportunity to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and guidelines. 

It’s important to have trained first aiders in the workplace, take the first step towards preparedness with the wide range of training available at STS First Aid. Whether you opt for a first aid at work course or any other first aid training, investing in the skills of your employees will undoubtedly contribute to a safer and more secure work environment.

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