Why Should Your Staff Be First Aid Trained?

Are the Boss?

You are responsible for making sure that your employees receive immediate attention if they are taken ill or are injured at work. As we all know accidents can happen at any time and any place, first aid can save people’s lives, This is why it is the law to have some of your staff first aid trained, they are not only there to help immediately but they are also there to prevent minor injuries becoming major ones.

What many people get confused about is that it doesn’t matter whether the injury or illness is caused by the work they conduct on a daily basis, if it happened at work or on the premises then it is of paramount importance to give them immediate medical attention and you may even have to call an ambulance in serious cases.

What Employers need to do!

You must make appropriate first-aid arrangements for your workplace., you can start doing this by considering all of the possible safety hazards in your workplace so you can plan ahead for any health and safety risks that your staff may be undertaking on a regular, daily basis. This will then mean you can put in strategies and arrangements in order to help you decide what staff need to be trained and what they need to be trained in (apart from the basics of first aid training courses) it is also important to have one fire warden on site at all time so they are trained how to sue a fire extinguisher etc.

Some small low-risk workplaces need to have only a first-aid box and a person appointed to take charge of first-aid arrangements such as calling the emergency services and stocking the first-aid box. The appointed person does not need specific first-aid training and they will only be safekeeping the first aid box and handing out the occasional plaster.

If your workplace has more significant health and safety risks, for example you use machinery or hazardous materials then you will need to invest in training someone to be your dedicated trained first-aider. Choose someone loyal, hardworking, dedicated and most importantly wants to do it! There is nothing worse than having a member of staff that doesn’t want to take part, it will be a waste of time effort and money – in the long run it may even put someone’s life at risk!

Once you have decided who is going to be your first-aider and they have completed their training you must make all the other members of staff aware of who that person is, where they are located and what exactly they can do to help you in the event of an emergency.

Appointed Person/s

Where your first-aid needs assessment identifies that a first-aider is not required, you must appoint a person to take charge of the first-aid arrangements, including looking after the equipment and facilities, and calling the emergency services when required. An appointed person is not required to have any formal training, they are just in charge of maintaining the equipment. It Is not subject specific, unlike construction training where you have to keep renewing your NRSWA Renewal Training every now and again, once you are fully trained you are then trained for a set period of years before you have to go on another course to renew your qualification.

What is a First-aider?

A first-aider is someone who has successfully undergone a training course in administering first-aid at work and holds a valid certificate and it is up-to-date. First-aid training should only be carried out by a training organisation which has been approved by HSENI’s Employment Medical Advisory Service (EMAS).

Are you unsure of how many/if any first aid trained employees you need on site? Then I have made up this handy chart, it is only an estimate so you will have to check whether or not these apply to you. This is a rough guide.


Category of Risk


Number of employees


Number of first-aiders needed

Lower Risk


eg shops and offices

Fewer than 50

50 – 100

More than 100

one appointed person or more

one first aider or more

One additional first-aider for every 100 employed

Medium risk


eg assembly

work, warehousing

Fewer than 20

20 – 100

More than 100

one appointed person

one first-aider for every 50 employed

One additional first-aider for every 100 employed

Higher risk


eg most construction,

dangerous machinery work

Fewer than 5

5 – 50

More than 50

one appointed person or more

one first-aider or more

One additional first-aider for every 50 employed