People can suffer injuries or fall ill whilst at work. It is
important that they are able to receive immediate attention if the
situation is serious, and that there are arrangements for calling
an ambulance if necessary. First aid at work can save lives, and
prevent minor injuries becoming major ones.
It is a legal requirement to provide adequate and appropriate
equipment, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given
The minimum provision is a properly stocked first aid box and an
appointed, trained first aider. Greater provision is necessary if
there are particularly hazardous situations, if you have a large
number of employees, or if some of your employees work at an
The first aid provision and first aiders must be reasonably
accessible, so they may need to be provided at several locations.
Sometimes it is necessary to issue personal first-aid kits.
First aid boxes should contain adhesive dressings, sterile eye pads
and bandages, safety pins, sterile wound dressings, disposable
gloves and a leaflet giving general guidance.
First Aiders must have attended a training course approved by the
HSE. You should select people who can be relied upon in an
emergency, and you must allow them time to undertake the
You need to introduce arrangements for calling the ambulance, and
ensuring that the First Aid provision is maintained. This must be
available whenever employees are at work.
You must advise your employees of the arrangements by putting up
notices telling staff who and where the first aiders are.
In businesses where large numbers of the public are on the
premises, you are advised to consider what additional provision you
need to make for them.
Further information on numbers of first aiders and specific
provision is available in HSE Guidance. Contact HSE Books, P.O. Box
1999, Sudbury, Suffolk. Tel. 01787 881165, or the HSE information
line 0541 545500.