What is first aid at work?

Injuries or illness can happen anywhere, especially at work. Whether the illness or injury is caused at work or not, it is important you take immediate action. Knowing what to do in these situations can prevent minor injuries from becoming serious.


What do I need to do?

Following The Health and Safety First Aid regulations 1981, you must provide appropriate first aid equipment and ensure that dedicated people can administer this. Refer to Table 1.

You should provide:

  • A suitably stocked first aid box
  • An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
  • Information about first aid arrangements


What is an appointed person?

An appointed person is someone (if you do not have anyone fully trained) that has been appointed to take charge of first aid arrangements. This includes looking after first aid equipment, calling emergency services when needed and providing emergency cover when the first aider is absent. The appointed person does not need training, however there are emergency first aid training courses available.

What should I consider when assessing my first aid requirements?

In small workplaces, you only need minimum provisions. However there are many factors which need to be considered. Please refer to Table 1.

What is a first aider?

A first aider is someone who has undertaken First Aid training in accordance to the Health and Safety Regulations Act 1981. They must hold a valid certificate in either First Aid at Work or Emergency First Aid at Work.

How do I book a course?

For enquiries and bookings please contact us at: bookings@thefirstaidbrigade.com

Do you run a specific Paediatric First Aid course?

Yes, we provide two courses for Paediatric First Aid; a 2 day paediatric first aid course and a 1 day emergency paediatric training course. These courses are designed to ensure the safety of the children around you. We are able to offer these courses at one of our training centres, within your home, or within your place of work. Please contact us at bookings@thefirstaidbrigade.com for more information.

Do you provide a First Aid at Work course?

Yes, we offer three First Aid at Work training courses; a 3 day First Aid at Work course, a 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work course, and a 2 day First Aid at Work requalification course. These courses are for workplaces, including companies with low members of staff or individuals who are self-employed. Please call us to discuss on 01582 469000.


What is the difference between a 1 day and a 3 day First Aid course?

The 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work course is for lower risk work places such as small shops and offices.

The 3 day First Aid at Work course goes into much greater depth in environments where accidents are more likely to occur. This could apply to industries such as construction sites, factories, tree surgeons etc.

Our 3 day First Aid at Work course is also suitable where there is an imbalance between staff and people on site. These situations may require a higher level of first aid.


Do you sell first aid supplies?

No, unfortunately this is not something we offer.

Do you provide an online first aid course?

Due to the scope of the courses we provide and the hands-on experience, we do not offer an online course

Table 1:

Checklist for assessment of first aid needs

(Use the findings of your risk assessment and take account of any parts of your workplace that have different work activities/hazards which may require different levels of first aid provision)

Points to consider Impact on first aid provision

Workplace with low-level hazards.

E.g. offices and shops.

The minimum provision is:

  • An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
  • A suitably stocked first-aid box

A workplace with a higher level of hazards.

E.g. Chemicals or dangerous machinery. Activities involving special hazards, such as hydrofluoric acid or confined spaces.

You should consider:

  • Providing first aiders
  • Additional training for first aiders to deal with injuries caused by special hazards
  • Additional first aid equipment
  • Precise siting of first aid equipment
  • Provision of a first aid room
  • Informing the emergency services
How many people are employed on site?

Small number of employees, minimum provision is:

  • Appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
  • Suitably stocked first-aid box

Large number of employees, you should consider providing:

  • First-aiders
  • Additional first aid equipment
  • A first aid room

Inexperienced workers on site.

Employees with disabilities or particular health problems


  • Additional training for first aiders
  • Additional first aid equipment
  • Local siting of first aid equipment
Accidents and ill-health records:
What injuries and illnesses have occurred in your workplace and how and where did they happen?

Make sure your first aid provision caters for the type of injuries and illness that might occur in your workplace.

Monitor accidents and ill health and review your first aid provision as appropriate.

Working arrangements:

Do you have employees who travel a lot, work remotely or work alone?


You should consider:

  • Issuing personal first-aid kits
  • Issuing personal communicators/mobile phones to employees
Do any of your employees work shifts or work out of hours? You should ensure there is adequate first aid provision at all times during working hours.
Are the premises spread out, are there several buildings on the site or multi-floor buildings? Consider provision in every building and on each floor.

Is your workplace remote from emergency medical services?


You should:

  • Inform the emergency services of your location
  • Consider special arrangements with the emergency services
Do any of your employees work at sites occupied by other employers? You should make arrangements with other site occupiers to ensure adequate provision. A written agreement between employers is strongly recommended.

Do you have enough provision to cover your first-aiders or appointed persons when they are absent?


You should consider:

  • What cover is needed for annual leave and other planned absences
  • What cover is needed for unplanned and exceptional absences
Do members of the public visit your premises Under the Regulations, you have no legal duty to provide first aid for non-employees, but Health and Safety Executive strongly recommends that make provisions for them in full