It is the legal duty of employers to have adequate first aid procedures in place. As stated by the UK Government Health and Safety Executive (HSE), this includes an obligation to assess risks and to take appropriate action to control the risks, and to also provide suitable facilities and safety equipment. As well as having a fully stocked first aid kit, businesses also need to have appointed first aiders who are trained in helping others when they are sick or injured.
Beyond the legal requirements, there are many other benefits of ensuring your team are first-aid trained. Here are the top 5 reasons to provide first aid training in your organisation:
The biggest benefit to having first aid trained staff is reducing the response time during emergencies and accidents at work. This ensures that employees have the right access to help when they need it, and helps to resolve problems faster. In very critical circumstances, a quick response can save lives. It can also lessen the recovery time of the person who is ill or injured, which means less time off work.
There may be times when staff are required to work on their own. This can be particularly common with some night shift work. Providing training to your whole team means that employees are better placed to self-administer or conduct first aid on themselves until help arrives. This is why it’s important for everyone to be trained, as well as having appointed first aiders who can take over when they arrive at the scene of emergency.
According to the HSE, the total cost of workplace self-reported injuries and ill health in their latest report from 2016/17 was £15 billion across the UK. Ill health made up 65% (£9.7 billion) of the total costs, and the remaining 35% (£5.2 billion) came from injuries.
The majority of costs fall on individuals (£8.6 billion), while employers are hit with £3 billion, and the Government and taxpayers are hit with £3.4 billion.
Having first aiders at work builds confidence in your team. Employers who make health and safety a priority are able to show their workforce that they care. This creates a positive environment where staff feel appreciated and looked after.
Additionally, first aid training courses can also be excellent for team building. By appointing officers and getting everyone involved in the training process, you can give employees purpose and help to boost group morale. It’s important to assign duties when training first aid in the workplace. Responsibilities and procedures need to be clear, so appointed first aiders have accountability.
First aid training also improves awareness of safety issues in offices, retail environments, factories or warehouses. Regular refresher courses are important as they help teams remain conscious of safety at work. Currently, the HSE strongly recommends annual training, done over a half day during any three-year certification period