Having trained employees who can administer immediate first aid can save the life of an injured colleague or client. It’s also the law.
Employers are legally obligated to ensure they have enough first aid cover for their operations. This includes ensuring things like an adequate number of first aid kits on-site, as well as having enough trained first aiders.
Like all health and safety training, there is a limit to the length of time first aid certificates are valid, ranging from 12 months to three years. Let’s take a closer look at first aid in the workplace and how long this vital training lasts.
Employers Need First Aiders
Non-fatal accidents in the workplace cost employers dearly. On average they result in the loss of 1.2 working days for each employee in the UK and this amounts to millions lost in revenue. Revenue that could be retained for other uses.
The uninsured costs to a business can quickly spiral when an employee is injured and unable to work. Costs of replacing them, training replacement staff, carrying out an investigation to work out what went wrong, paying sick leave, and overtime cover are just a few of the associated costs.
Although providing timely first aid to an injured person may not prevent such costs, it may well reduce them significantly. And of course what is most important is that injuries sustained by the employee, contractor, or visitor may require less if any recuperation time and maybe the difference between life and death.
What the Law Says About Workplace First Aid
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 document our legal responsibilities when it comes to first aid. There must be adequate first aid provision in place. This will consist of a welfare room or designated area where first aid can be given, first aid equipment such as a first aid box, and adequately trained employees.
But every work environment is going to be different. So, all employers are expected to complete a first aid risk assessment to determine what level of cover is required for their organisation. A first aid risk assessment or first aid needs assessment, takes into account the circumstances of your working environment and the risks and hazards in it.
Human Focus’ Essentials of Conducting a First Aid Risk Assessment course covers how to do this in detail if you have questions as to how this is done.
Those responsible for workplace health and safety must ensure that the first aid provision is always considered. But it can be hard to keep track of who has been trained, how long ago, and what the current provision is. So, it is essential to know what kind of first aid exists and how long it lasts.
What Types of First Aid Training are There?
There are a few different types of first aid training to be aware of in the UK. These include:
Emergency First Aid at Work
This one-day training is suitable in environments where the risk assessment has determined that first aid cover need only include emergency response. This is typically a low-risk environment with fewer hazards. It gives the skills needed to handle emergencies, such as bleeding, shock, cardiac arrest, burns, cuts, and broken bones.
First Aid at Work
This three-day training is designed for those working in higher-risk work environments. It covers a variety of skills that apply to most work environments. It includes the information covered in Emergency First Aid at Work, along with information covering various possible incidents at work. This includes heart attacks, chest pains, fainting, and spinal injuries.
It’s important to note that these qualifications must be completed and earned face-to-face.
Online First Aid Courses
Many e-Learning course providers, including Human Focus, offer virtual first aid training covering the same guidance covered in the above courses. While online first aid training cannot earn you the same qualification as an in-person course, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recognised its value.
The HSE has stated that it supports the use of online training to keep first aid skills up to date. This particularly relevant, due to the lack of access to face-to-face training caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
When Does First Aid Training Expire?
If you earn an Emergency First Aid or a First Aid at Work certificate, it will be valid for three years. However, the HSE recommends that refresher courses are completed annually.
Refresher courses can be completed both in-person or online. Completing online first aid courses can be an easier and effective option if you do not have the time or access to classroom training.
Once training has been provided and employees receive their certificates the countdown begins. This is where keeping a record of the training that has been provided becomes important.
Traditionally training records have been kept as a hardcopy document, which can be easily misplaced or lost or in spreadsheets in folders that often are saved to one employee’s PC. It is easy to see how training can lapse and there is a sense of the unknown when working out who has received training and when. The Human Focus portal has a solution for this.
All records can easily and quickly be found by simply logging into your account and downloading the relevant training information. If proof of training is ever needed a quick search will pull up an employee’s certificate. Other digital tools such as a health and safety checklist can also help cut down on hassle and time.
Human Focus First Aid Courses
All first aid courses on the Human Focus portal are valid for a year from the date it was completed. Delegates and line managers are made aware of the certificate’s date of expiry when they access the portal. The courses can be completed at anytime and anywhere, as long as the delegate has access to a device and WIFI connection. They can do it in their own time and in a location of their choosing.