Do you know where the first-aid box is at work, or whether your workplace has an official first-aider or only an appointed person for first-aid?A�Your employer has a duty under the 1981 First-Aid Regulations to provide you with this information.

The 1981 First-Aid Regulations apply to all workplaces in England and Wales, even small workplaces with only a couple of employees because first-aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries becoming much worse.A�The employer is under a duty to make a first-aid needs assessment of the workplace and decide on the level of first-aid facilities that are appropriate.A� This is consistent with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 that places an employer under a duty to assess the risks to the health and safety of their employees at work.A�The risk assessment will help the employer decide on the type, quantity and location of first-aid equipment, facilities and personnel.

Employers have a legal duty to make arrangements to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. Therefore, if you work in a small low hazard organization there still remains the possibility of a colleague suffering an accident or a sudden illness. If the employer has decided that a trained first-aider is not required a person should still be appointed to take charge of first-aid.A�The role of this appointed person is to take charge of the first-aid equipment and calling the emergency services when required.

First-aiders should have a valid certificate of competence in first-aid.A�There is no mandatory list of items to be included in a worka��s first-aid container and it does depend on the type of workplace and its potential hazards what items should be in the first-aid box.A�It should be noted that first-aid work does not include giving tablets or medicines to treat illnesses, however a colleague may bring into work their own medicine prescribed by their doctor.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981

More information on the British Red Cross organizationa��s website: