Frequently Asked Questions

What is a first-aider?

A first-aider is someone who has undertaken approved training. This means that they must hold a valid, in date, certificate of competence in either:

First Aid at Work (3 day), issued by an approved training organisation.
Emergency First Aid at Work (1 day), issued by an approved training organisation.

How many first-aiders do I need?

This you will have to decide for yourselves, as there is no set answer, it will depend upon your circumstances and risks related to your workplace. The following link to the HSE first aid at work assessment tool may help you in your decision making.

When should the first-aider attend a requalification course?

First Aiders should insure they attend a First Aid at Work Requalification course prior to their FAW certificate going out of date. Generally this would be within the 3 month period prior to their current certificate expiry date.

Are first-aiders allowed to give tablets and medication to casualties?

Generally, no. First aid at work does not include giving tablets or medicines to treat illness. There is one exception to this, as current first aid practise does suggest the use of aspirin for a suspected heart attack. No tablets or mediation should be kept in the first-aid box. The first aider can however help a casualty to use their own prescribed medication; such items as Inhalers or Epi Pens would not be kept in a first aid box, they belong to, and therefore carried by, the casualty themselves.

What should a first-aid box in the workplace contain?

Below is a suggested contents list, however you may add other items relating more to your workplace although tablets, medicines and sharps should not be kept in a first aid kit.

Contents Small Medium Large Travel
First Aid Guidance Leaflet 1 1 1 1
Disposable Gloves 6 9 12 1
Resuscitation Face Shield (one way valve) 2 2 2 1
Plasters (Blue for food handlers) 40 60 100 10
Medium sterile dressing (12cm x 12cm) 4 6 8 1
Large sterile dressing (18cm x 18cm) 1 2 2 1
Eye pad sterile dressing 2 3 4 1
Finger sterile dressing 2 3 4 -
Burns dressing (10cm x 10cm) 1 2 2 1
Triangular bandage 2 3 4 1
Alcohol free moist leansing wipes 20 30 40 4
Safety pins 6 12 24 2
Adhesive tape 1 1 1 1
Foil blanket 1 2 3 1
Sterile eye wash - - - 1
Scissors (suitable for cutting clothing) 1 1 1 1

How do the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 relate to first-aid provision in schools?

The regulations relate to employees, but do not require you to cover anyone else. Schools therefore need to provide cover for all their staff members but the HSE would also strongly recommend that such organisations look to include non-employees when calculating their numbers for first aid provision.

What should I do about first-aid provision for employees who travel regularly?

Employers are still responsible for their employees when they are working away from their main office. These employees should carry a personal first-aid box; and if necessary issued with mobile phones.