Important changes to first aid

Due to the recent amendment of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (as amended), from 1st October 2013 first aid training and qualifications will no longer need to be approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A third edition of The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 guidance, which applies from 1st October 2013 has been published by the HSE and is available here.

The HSE has also issued guidance for employers on selecting a first-aid training provider, which is available here.

The British Standard for Workplace First Aid Kits: BS8599-1 has been updated to take account of recent changes to The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 that remove the requirement for the HSE to approve first-aid training and qualifications.

The standard will help businesses to understand and comply with the Regulations and provides practical advice for employers. The Regulations apply to all workplaces, including those with less than five employees.

New BS8599-1 compliant first aid kits have been designed by industry experts. They better meet the needs of the modern workplace and are now truly fit for purpose.

Many employers do not have the skills, knowledge or experience to properly make up a first aid kit piece by piece and getting it wrong could leave them open to claims of negligence. For example, an employer may deem risks from burns to be very low in an office environment; however, if an employee was scalded by a hot drink and the first aid kit did not contain a burns dressing, lawyers may claim for any scarring suffered by the employee. Employers should carry out risk assessments and match them to British Standard first aid kits.