Changes to First Aid at Work Regulations

first aid trainingIn 2008 the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a consultation to evaluate the effectiveness of ‘First Aid in the Workplace’. As a result significant changes to the first aid at work regulations were implemented in October 2009.

What are the main changes to the first aid at work courses?

The 4 Day First Aid at Work Course is now the 3 Day First Aid at Work (FAW) Course. For those that have previously attended the 4 day First Aid at Work Course, the certificates will continue to be valid for a period of 3 years. At the end of the 3 year validity period the current 2 Day First Aid at Work Re-qualification Course will still be required to renew First Aid at Work certificates for a further 3 years.
A new HSE approved 1 Day Emergency First Aider in the Workplace (EFAW) has replaced the Appointed Person course. This will also be valid for 3 years. The EFAW can now only be offered by HSE and Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA) approved training providers. Previously the Appointed Person course was completely outside of the HSE regulations and approval process, meaning that there was no guarantee of either quality or consistency.
The other significant change is that the HSE highly recommends that any person trained in either the 3 day First Aid At Work (FAW) or 1 Day Emergency First Aider in the Workplace (EFAW), attend a ½ day ‘Annual Refresher’ course at the end of both year 1 and year 2. This recommendation is designed to increase the level of first aider effectiveness by ensuring that the First Aiders skills and knowledge learnt during these courses are practiced and reinforced.

When will the Re-qualification Training be due?

The 3 day FAW and 1 day EFAW courses are valid for 3 years. At the end of the 3 year period a 2 day Re-qualification course is required for the 3 day FAW course. For those who have attended the EFAW course, they will need to attend the same course again at the end of the 3 year period.

How many people do I need to train and which course should they attend?

To evaluate the number of First Aiders that are required for  your business you will need to carry out a Risk Assessment. The following factors should be considered when assessing your needs:

  • Specific workplace hazards and risk
  • The size of the organisation i.e. the number of employees
  • The history of accidents, referring to your accident book is a good starting point
  • The needs of travelling, remote and lone workers. This should include company vehicle drivers and home workers.
  • Employees working on shared or multi-occupied sites
  • Potential holidays, sickness and shift patterns of trained personne

In the main, larger workplaces and higher risk sites will require more FAW trained personnel. Smaller, low risk workplaces may require only EFAW trained personnel, although this will depend entirely on the result of the workplace risk assessment.

What is an Appointed Person?

For any workplace which deems that a First Aider is not required, it may be suitable that an appointed person is required. As stated in the First Aid at Work, Health & Safety Document, Approved Code of practise and guidance (L74), Draft Revised Guidance, ‘The role of this appointed person includes looking after the first-aid equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services when required’.



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