First Aid Training – What Business Owners Need To Know

If you’re an employer, then First Aid Training should already be on your horizon. After all, First Aid is something that you are legally required to provide for your employees in the event of an accident or illness.

However, despite the fact that this law has been in place since 1981, the regulations around it can be confusing, leading many employers to be uncertain of what they are supposed to provide and for whom.

For example, what constitutes first aid? How many first aiders does your business need? Do you need to provide first aid training for your staff? What first aid equipment should you have on site?

The questions around the issue of first aid in the workplace seem endless, and the fact that the answers very much depend on what type of organisation you are running only makes the matter more confusing.

But fear not, because Essential Site Skills are experts in First Aid Training, we can help employers navigate the tricky waters and make sure you’re providing the right level of first aid cover for your business and your employees.


What First Aid Provisions Must Be Provided By Employers?


According to the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations of 1981,

“You are responsible for making sure that your employees receive immediate attention if they are taken ill or are injured at work. Accidents and illness can happen at any time and first aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones.”

This means that, as an employer, you are responsible for ensuring your employees (and sometimes members of the public, if they are on your premises) receive appropriate first aid treatment in the event of them having an accident or being taken ill.

Whilst this law is standard across all employers, regardless of how many people you employ or where you work, the precise level of first aid provided will very much depend on the individual circumstances of your business.


What Level Of First Aid Cover Does My Business Require?


As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure your employees are adequately provided for in the case of an emergency, however, the exact level of first aid cover you will need to provide will depend on numerous factors, such as the size of your workforce and where you work.

For example, if you work in a particularly hazardous environment, such as a factory with heavy machinery or a laboratory with hazardous chemicals, then it is crucial you provide an adequate level of first aid provision for that setting. You may require a fully trained first aider or even a medically qualified member of staff may need to be on duty or available at all times.


Awareness training in automated external defibrillators


In-depth training in the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) is not currently part of either the Emergency First Aid at Work and First Aid at Work courses.  However, HSE welcomes the presence of awareness training in these courses as it instils greater confidence in the use of AEDs.

Image shows setup of First Aid Training course.

It is not compulsory for employers to purchase AEDs to comply with the Health and Safety (First-Aid) regulations 1981.  However, if your needs assessment identifies an AED need then we recommend your staff should be fully trained in its use.

Such a hazardous working environment may also require additional equipment to be readily available on site, such as eyewash in the case of dangerous chemicals, or specialist burns treatments may be required.

On the other hand, if you and your team work in a small office with minimal risks, then you may only require the legal minimum level of first aid provision. This is;

  • A well-stocked first aid kit
  • An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
  • Information for your employees about what the first aid arrangements are.

What’s more, the level of first aid provision you need to make as an employer will depend on the size of your company as well as the circumstances in which you work. For example, if you work alone or only have one or two employees, then it may be sufficient for your nominated first aider to just be someone who is able to call an ambulance in the case of an emergency.

On the other hand, if you employ tens or even hundreds of staff, then you will be required to have multiple fully trained first aiders, at a ratio that ensures all your staff are able to access a first aider at all times during their working hours.

If you would like to find out more about exactly what your obligations are as an employer around first aid provision, then the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have produced this handy leaflet full of helpful information.  


What First Aid Training Should My Employees Have?


If having carried out a full health and safety assessment of your workplace, you have decided that you need to have fully trained first aiders in place, then its crucial you ensure they have the correct level of training appropriate for the situation.

According to the HSE website, a first aider;

“…is someone who has been trained by a competent first aid training provider in first aid at work, emergency first aid at work, or some other appropriate level of training (identified by your needs assessment).”

There are two main levels of first aid training, and the amount of training your employees receive will again depend on the risks associated with your workplace.

As an approved first aid training provider, Essential Site Skills has been providing top-quality first aid training for many years now. Our range of first aid training courses can be tailored to the specific needs of your business and delivered on or off-site, making it a flexible option for your company, regardless of the number of employees you require to be trained.


The QA Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (RQF) is a regulated and nationally recognised qualification designed for those who have a specific responsibility at work, to provide first aid in a range of emergency first aid situations. It is also ideal for people who have a specific responsibility to provide basic first aid in voluntary and community activities.

Our QA Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (RQF) is a regulated and nationally recognised qualification, specifically designed for those who are appointed to act as a first aider in their workplace, although it is also ideal for people who have a specific responsibility to provide first aid in voluntary and community activities. The course lasts for three days, and the certificate received at the end is valid for up to three years.

Image shows First Aid training course in action.

Contact ESS For Your First Aid Training


Thanks to our expertise in this field, ESS are the specialists in employment first aid training provision, so we can help you take the guesswork out of it all.

We can help you navigate the complex regulations surrounding first aid provision in the workplace, so can carry out a full assessment of your needs to ensure you’re covered in all the areas you need to be. Whether you’re self-employed or have a staff of hundreds, whether you work in a relatively safe office environment or in a large and hazardous factory, our team can carry out a workplace assessment for you and advise you of exactly the level of first aid provision you need.

And then, once we have identified your needs, we can provide all the first aid training your staff require, either onsite or off. Plus, we guarantee to do it to an exceptional standard and at the most cost-effective price.

If you’d like to find out more, why not call us today on 0115 8970 529 or fill out the contact form on the website and we’ll get back to you ASAP?