Companies must ensure that they are always manned by staff members who have had first aid training, it has been pointed out.According to Ralph Brown, training manager with St John Ambulance South East, many businesses have periods when there is no one present who has been on first aid courses, This Is Hampshire.net reports.
He noted that this figure often increases during times when a significant proportion of workers are on annual leave.For example, the festive period that has just occurred is one when many firms fail to meet the required minimum of employees present who have had first aid training. Other times may include the peak of the summer holidays, when many families go away on trips together.
Mr Brown stated: “First aiders could be the most missed employees of all if something goes wrong … Businesses can overlook this at times when they operate with a skeleton staff.”He added: “The issue is especially important in small businesses with few employees, where there may be only one first aider. First aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved – but it’s also a legal obligation for businesses.”
The expert went on to note that it is advisable for enterprises to conduct a risk assessment based on their business needs. This should cover issues such as first aider annual leave and the common types of injuries that may happen in workplaces.He went on to advise companies to use quiet times to send some of their workers on first aid courses.
Mr Brown also pointed out that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) insists that once firms have identified their first aid needs, they maintain suitable provisions on this basis.
The HSE exists to minimise the risk to people’s health that arises as a result of workplace activities.