Type of First Aider
There are typically two different types of first aiders. Those qualified in the one-day Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and those trained in the three day First Aid at Work (FAW). The main difference between these two is that FAW trained personnel will typically have more knowledge and can also deal with non-emergency situations.
Low Hazard Workplace
Examples of low hazard workplaces include offices: shops & libraries. Just think of any environment where there is no risk from dangerous machinery, chemicals or amputations / traumatic bleeding.
Use the table below to work out how many first aiders you will require in your own workplace:
High Hazard Workplace
The workplace is considered a high hazard when there is a risk of serious fractures, crush injuries, amputations, traumatic bleeding and extensive burns through chemicals. Examples of industries include construction, light engineering, factories, warehouses and food processing.
Use the table below to work out how many first aiders you will need:
Appointed Person Vs First Aider
The appointed person does not need to have a first aid qualification. They are responsible for maintaining first aid supplies and getting the right information to the emergency services when an accident / sudden illness occurs. There is not a requirement for an appointed person if there are enough trained first aiders within the workplace.
It is worth considering that the appointed person without training may not be able to administer first aid within an emergency. There are moral and ethical issues for employers to consider and it can give a lot of peace of mind to know you have at least one emergency first aider on the premises at all times.
Other Factors to Consider
When calculating your requirement it is important to consider any shift patterns, annual leave or long term illness that could leave the workplace without a sufficient number of trained first aiders on-site. There is a potential need to train multiple staff members who will cover the first aid requirement in the above situations.
The above calculating tool is only a guideline set out by the HSE. It is not written in law but an employer should always consider the implications of major injuries, illnesses and fatalities when they are responsible for the overall well being of staff and visitors on the premises.