First-aiders – How many do I need for my workplace?

First-aiders requirements for the workplaceThe findings of your first-aiders needs assessment will help you decide how many first-aiders are required. There are no hard and fast rules on exact numbers and you will need to take into account all the relevant circumstances of your particular workplace.

Every employer including the self employed must make appropriate first aid provision for their staff. The self employed are to make provision for themselves. This level of provision is identified by a risk assessment. The Health and safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, approved code of practice (ACOP) can be downloaded free. For more information please visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) First Aid needs assessment section.

  • The minimum requirement on any worksite or office is going to be a fully stocked first aid kit and an Appointed Person.
  • It is important to remember as well, that the provision of first aid cover is a constant requirement.
  • If your first-aiders are away, for example on holiday, another person must provide the first aid cover.
  • The HSE Leaflet will help in understanding the requirements and legal responsibilities.

Suggested number of first-aiders (reproduced from the HSE Leaflet) are as follows:

Requirements for first-aiders in the workplace

First-aiders Significant or unusual risks

If there are significant or more unusual risks at the workplace, the following must also be considered:

  • Extra training to cover the unusual risks or special procedures which they may need to carry out in the event of an injury or illness (for example, workers in confined spaces)
  • Extra first-aid equipment
  • Reviewing the content of the first-aid box
  • The precise location of first-aid equipment, perhaps in particular areas or at various points throughout a large building or site
  • Different levels of provision in different parts of the establishment (for example, the school kitchen compared to the rest of the school)
  • Whether local medical services need to be informed of the location of the workplace
  • Whether special arrangements need to be made with the emergency services, and
  • Whether to issue personal first-aid kits and training staff on how to use them, (e.g. for lone workers) and
  • Whether to issue personal communicators such as mobile phones or walkie-talkies to employees.

Can legal action be taken against first-aiders?

It is very unlikely that any action would be taken against first-aiders who have applied first-aid training they have received. It is recommended that you seek legal advice, or advice from your employer’s insurance brokers on whether their policies cover first-aiders’ liability.

For more guidance on the requirements for your first-aiders in the workplace please visit the HSE website section for first-aiders and employees legal duties.

For more information on first-aiders and your requirements and our first aid training courses, please click on the links below to see full course details. Or to see how we can help you find the right training courses for your business please email us. Or alternatively, call us on 0151 515 0416 and speak with one of our training Consultants.