What is first aid at work training?

The fundamental principle of first aid is to provide immediate assistance to casualties in an emergency situation.  A first aid at work course most often consists of simple techniques that most people can train to perform with minimal equipment and no previous medical experience.

What is a first aider?

A first-aider is someone who has completed first aid training and holds a valid certificate of competence. The appropriate level of first aid training should be identified on your assessment of first aid needs.

Who can become a first aider?

Anyone can become a trained first aider by attending a first aid at work course. The only requirement is that you are physically fit enough to carry out the basic first aid procedures.

What are the Threes P’s of First Aid?

The purpose of first aid training is 3 fold:

    1. Preserve life
    2. Prevent worsening
    3. Promote recovery

Preservation of life  In the case of a cardiac arrest or a casualty who is choking, an immediate response is vital. In fact, if CPR is not administered within 2 minutes of cardiac arrest the brain starts to suffer from lack of blood flow which can be catastrophic.

To prevent worsening  The casualty should be kept stable and safe until emergency services arrive. This may include removing the casualty away from the cause of harm, applying pressure to a bleeding wound or placing them in the recovery position and keeping them warm.

To aid healing or promote recovery For instance cleaning, sterilizing, and wrapping an injury or wound.

What training do first aiders need?

The correct level of first aid training for your organisation should be identified on your assessment of first aid needs and will be one of the following:

Emergency First Aid at Work training provides the first-aider with the knowledge and skills needed to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work.

First Aid at Work training covers emergency first aid and also a range of specific injuries and illness.

What is the legal requirement for first aid at work?

Every employer has a duty under all current Health and Safety legislation to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the safety, health and welfare of all concerned.  This includes the provision of first aid in the workplace.

Your organisation’s assessment of first aid needs should help establish which level of first aid provision is right for you.

What do I learn on a first aid course?

On an Emergency First aid at Work course you will learn about UK legislation and the legal requirements surrounding first aid provision.

You will be taught how to carry out an assessment of the situation in order to keep yourself and others safe.

You will learn how to respond in a variety of emergency situations. For instance, on our EFAW course, more practical elements will include:

  • How to place the patient in the recovery position
  • Choking and breathing emergencies
  • Carrying out CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and use of an AED (Automated external defibrillator)
  • How to clean and dress a wound effectively and to reduce the risk of cross infection
  • How to treat burns
  • How to treat a person with heat stroke or hypothermia
  • How to treat a person who is having a seizure

In addition to the above, a First Aid at Work course is likely to include a wider variety of conditions and injuries such as assisting a casualty who has:

  • Been poisoned
  • A head injury
  • Hypothermia or heat exhaustion
  • An injury to a bone, muscle or joint
  • A crush injury
  • An eye injury

Learners will also learn how to help a casualty who is having a:

  • Heart attack
  • Angina attack
  • Stroke
  • Asthma attack
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Diabetic emergency.

Can you give first aid if not trained?

Unless you have specific training, you should not attempt first aid. You should remain calm and shout out or phone for assistance from either staff who are qualified or emergency services. However, If the operator at the emergency services asks you to perform first aid, should follow their instructions.

How long is a first aid at work course valid for?

All first-aid training certificates are valid for 3 years.

First aiders must requalify before the certificate expires, otherwise they will not be deemed competent to act (See s.74 of The HSE’s Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981.

The HSE also recommends first aiders undertake an annual refresher training to ensure first aiders are confident they maintain the knowledge they need to act in an emergency

You cannot predict when you or someone around you will have an accident or a medical emergency. But in an emergency, time is critical and having basic first aid skills may help you prevent a medical incident becoming more serious.

Published On: February 20th, 2023