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First aid advice – Personnel provision

First aid personnel provision in the workplace

Appointed person: person who takes charge of the first-aid equipment and facilities, calling the emergency services when required and providing emergency cover, within their role and competence. An appointed person is not required to have any formal training.

First aider: someone who provides emergency treatment to an injured or ill person. According to the HSE they must hold a valid and current certificate of competence in either: first aid at work (FAW), or emergency first aid at work (EFAW), issued by a training organization.

What kind and how many First Aiders does a workplace need?

The employers should consider the nature of the work and workplace hazards and risk.

Low Hazard e.g. offices, shops and libraries.

High Hazard e.g. Light engineering and assembly work, food processing, warehousing, extensive work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, construction, chemical manufacture.

It is important to determinate the appropriate level of training by consider the nature of the workforce; the organisation’s history of accidents and the size of the organisation.

  • Emergency first aid at work (EFAW) training enables a first-aider to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work.
  • First aid at work training (FAW) includes the EFAW syllabus and also equips the first-aider to apply first aid to a range of specific injuries and illness.

In addition, the employers should consider:

  • The needs of travelling, remote and lone workers; work patterns;
  • The distribution of the workforce;
  • The remoteness of the site from emergency medical services;
  • Employees working on shared or multi-occupied sites; annual leave and other absences of first-aiders and appointed persons;
  • First-aid provision for non-employees.

As a general guidance the following table shows the minimal provision in the workplace. It is the employers responsibility to ensure the first aid provision is ‘adequate and appropriate in the circumstances’.

Employees Low Hazard High Hazard
Less than 5 People Appointed person At least one Appointed person
5 – 25 people At least one Appointed person At least one First aider – EFAW or FAW trained
25 – 50 people First aider – EFAW trained At least one First aider – EFAW or FAW trained
50+ people At least one First aider – FAW trained for every 100 or part employed. At least one First aider – FAW trained for every 50 or part employee.

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