First Aid Legislation

New HSE Guidelines Implications for your Business 

The Health and Safety Executive have announced changes to the structure of First Aid Training Courses in the Workplace. From October 1st 2009 two new courses are being introduced:

  • HSE 3 day First Aid at Work ( FAW ) course, or
  • HSE 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work ( EFAW ) course

First-aid training & qualifications Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981

The Law

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide suitable first-aid equipment, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work. Regulation 3(2) states that in order to provide first aid to injured or ill employees, ‘…a person shall not be suitable unless he has undergone -
(a) such training and has such qualifications as the Health and Safety Executive may approve for the time being in respect of that case or class of case, and
(b) such additional training, if any, as may be appropriate in the circumstances of that case’.
For employers to comply with this Regulation, their first-aiders must have a valid certificate of competence in FAW or EFAW, issued by a suitable training provider.

New HSE Guidelines - Frequently Asked Questions:

Is my current FAW certificate still valid? Yes, up until the expiry date even if this is after 1st October 2009.

When do I have to do a new requalification course? When your current certificate is about to expire. You will then enter the new training regime.

Will I have to attend refresher training? The HSE advises that First Aiders do a three hour Annual Refresher course to keep their skills fresh in their memories.

What is the minimum age requirement to be able to attend on these courses? There is no formal age limit for first aiders. However, trainees must be physically able to demonstrate the techniques taught on the course. A student cannot claim the official title of ‘First Aider in the Workplace’ until they reach the age of 16, and then it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the student is suitable for that role.

What is the difference between a first aider in the workplace and an emergency first aider in the workplace? A risk assessment will highlight the level of risk in the workplace, use the information on our downloads page to assist you make this choice.