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First Aid News from Safety 1st

Review of the HSE (First-Aid) Regulations 1981

Since the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 came into force there have been substantial changes in the workplace. The review of the regulations was aimed at evaluating whether they are still effective in their current form in meeting the first aid needs of modern businesses.

In early 2008 the Health & Safety Executive carried out a consultation to evaluate the effectiveness of ‘First Aid in the Workplace’. As a result of the consultation, from 1 October 2009 significant changes to the first aid at work regulations will be implemented.

What are the main changes to the structure of first aid at work courses?

The current 4 Day First Aid at Work Course will become a 3 Day First Aid At Work (FAW) Course. First Aid At Work certificates will continue to be valid for a period of 3 years.

At the end of the 3 year validity period the current 2 Day First aid at Work Requalification Course will still be required to renew First Aid At Work certificates for a further 3 years.

A new HSE approved 1 Day Emergency First Aid in the Workplace Course (EFAW) will also be introduced. This course will also be valid for 3 years. It is intended that this course will be broadly similar to the current Appointed Person course.

The other significant change is that the HSE will recommend that any person trained in either the 3 day First Aid At Work (FAW) or 1 Day Emergency First Aider in the Workplace (EFAW), attend a 3 hour Skills Fade Refresher course at the end of both year 1 and year 2.

The proposed date for theses changes is 1 October 2009.

HSE has considered the approval and monitoring arrangements to support introduction of the new first aid training courses. Existing HSE approved providers will be able to run both the new three and one-day courses without the need for any additional approval. HSE aims to publish a statement on its website in the autumn about these proposed arrangements.