First aid in the workplace

Andrew Wilkinson Accident at work, Industry News

World First Aid Day took place on Saturday 9th of September, the focus this year was on domestic accidents. Started in 2000 by the International Federation Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), World First Aid Day aims to promote the importance of first aid and how immediate medical attention can end up saving lives. The IFRC believes first aid to be a humanitarian act that should be accessible to all, and as such it is one of the world’s leading first aid providers.[1]

First aid is important and can save lives if administered correctly and so it is vital to make sure that injured people are treated as soon as possible. Approximately 6,000 deaths occur every year as a result of accidents in the home, and more accidents happen at home than anywhere else.[2] Another place common to accidents is the workplace, where first aid is just as essential.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 make it a legal requirement for employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure that employees receive immediate medical attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.[3] First aid is vital and can make the difference between life and death. What is considered to be ‘adequate and appropriate’ depends on the circumstances in the particular workplace, including the necessity for trained first-aiders and the contents of the first aid box.[4] As a minimum, employers must have:

  • a suitably stocked first aid kit;
  • an appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements;
  • information giving details of all first aid arrangements for all employees.[5]

Setting a minimum standard that all employers must abide by signifies the importance of first aid in reducing risks and saving lives. Any further first aid needs are determined by a needs assessment based on the circumstances of the workplace.

Unfortunately, even though accidents at work appear to be falling in recent CRU statistics,[6] they are still a common occurrence. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 621,000 employees suffered a non-fatal injury at work in 2015/16.[7] Therefore, it is crucial that the places in which accidents occur are adequately prepared to deal with them when they do. If an employer does not have adequate first aid provisions and you suffer an accident in the workplace then they may be liable for the personal injury you have sustained.

Here at Smith Jones Solicitors we understand the importance of adequate health and safety provisions in the workplace, including the provision of a sufficiently stocked first aid kit. Our highly trained solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with accidents at work claims are well equipped to deal with your case whatever the circumstances. If you have been unfortunate enough to be injured in an accident at work and are looking to recover the compensation you deserve, you can call our friendly team on 0800 195 95 90 and one of our experts will be able to help.

[1] International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, ‘First Aid’ <http://www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/health/first-aid-saves-lives/>

[2] The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, ‘Facts & Figures in Home Safety’ <https://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/general/facts-and-figures/>

[3] Health and Safety Executive, ‘Legislation’ <http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/legislation.htm>

[4] Health and Safety Executive, ‘Legislation’ <http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/legislation.htm>

[5] Health and Safety Executive, ‘Are you an employer?’ <http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/what-employers-need-to-do.htm>

[6] Smith Jones Solicitors, ‘Recent CRU Statistics may Indicate a fall in the amount of Accidents occurring in the Workplace’ (Published 21st August) <https://www.smithjonessolicitors.co.uk/recent-cru-statistics-may-indicate-fall-amount-accidents-occurring-workplace/>

[7] Health and Safety Executive, ‘Workplace injury – all statistics’ <http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/>