How many first aiders

There are no hard and fast rules on exact numbers. It will depend on the circumstances of your workplace. After working through the checklist in Table 1, refer to Table 2 which provides a general guide on how many appointed persons or first aiders you might need. The numbers given in Table 2 are suggestions only. You should assess your first-aid needs in the light of your particular circumstances.
Where there are special circumstances, such as shift work or sites with several buildings, there may need to be more first-aid personnel than set out in Table 2. You will also need to increase your provision to cover for absences.

Table 1 Checklist for assessment of first-aid needs
Point to consider Impact on first-aid provision
Hazards (use the findings of your general risk assessment and take account of any parts of your workplace with different work activities/hazards that may require different levels of first-aid provision)

Does your workplace have low-level hazards, eg the ones you might find in offices and shops?
The minimum provision is: ˜ an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements; ˜ a suitably stocked first-aid kit.

Does your workplace have higher-level hazards, such as chemicals or dangerous machinery? Do your work activities involve 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 location of first-aid equipment; ˜ providing a first-aid room; ˜ informing the emergency services in advance.

How many people are employed on site? The minimum provision is: ˜ an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements; ˜ a suitably stocked first-aid box. Depending on your circumstances, you should consider providing: ˜ first-aiders; ˜ additional first-aid equipment; ˜ a first-aid room.

Are there inexperienced workers on site (including those on ‘work experience’), or employees with disabilities or particular health problems?
You should consider: ˜ additional training for first-aiders; ˜ additional first-aid equipment; ˜ location of first-aid equipment.
Accidents and ill-health records

What injuries and illness have occurred in your workplace 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 people are at work.

Are the premises spread out, eg are there several buildings on the site or multi-floor buildings?
You should consider provision in each building or 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; ˜ consider emergency transport requirements.

Do any of your employees work at sites occupied by other employers?
You should make arrangements with other site occupiers to ensure adequate provision of first aid. A written agreement between employers is strongly recommended.

Do you have enough provision to cover for 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 nonemployees, but HSE strongly recommends that you include them in your first-aid provision

Table 2

  Suggested numbers of first-aid personnel to be available at all times people are at work

From your risk assessment, what degree of hazard is associated with your work activities?
How many employees do you have?
What first-aid personnel do you need?

Low-hazard, eg offices, shops, libraries
Fewer than 25 At least one appointed person
25–50 At least one first-aider trained in EFAW
More than 50 At least one first-aider trained in FAW for every 100 employed (or part thereof)

Higher-hazard, eg light engineering and assembly work, food processing, warehousing, extensive work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, construction, chemical manufacture
Fewer than 5 At least one appointed person
5–50 At least one first-aider trained in EFAW or FAW depending on the type of injuries that might occur
More than 50 At least one first-aider trained in FAW for every 50 employed (or part thereof)

NB This table refers to FAW and EFAW – but you may choose some other level of training appropriate for your circumstances.


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