First Aid Needs Assessment

First Aid Box

It is important to understand what your requirements are under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 at work. This first aid needs assessment flow chart below will help you decide what course you need to book your staff onto. Once you have done your due-diligence and assessed the needs of your business you can book a course with us by clicking on the First Aid tab, select the qualification you would like. 

Once you have read the back-ground information on the required qualification, use the 'Book Now' button to find a course in your area. If you would prefer to arrange an In-House course click on the 'Corporate Enquires' tab and complete the enquiry form. In-House training has many advantages and at LTS we will work hard to accommodate the needs of your business whether its spreading the course over a number of weeks or even running the course during unsociable hours for shift workers / night shift workers.


(Note: Site visit required, a facility must meet our classroom standards and comply with the HSE's Classroom Checklist).

Some other considerations when completing a First Aid needs assessment..............

The Nature of the Workforce 

You should consider the needs and health of all workers and ensure that first aiders are available and trained to deal with specific health needs. You should consider things such as:

  • The Young

  • The Elderly

  • Specific health problems (such as heart conditions, asthma, diabetes etc.)

  • Disabilities


The Organisation’s History of Accidents and Illness

You should look at the organisations history of accidents and illness to try and identify any needs or trends that may influence the location or type of first aider. Different levels of provision may be required in different areas of the workplace.


The Needs of Travelling, Remote and Lone Workers

First Aid should be available wherever people work so you may need to consider providing personal first aid kits or training to travelling, remote or lone workers. 


Work Patterns Such as Shift Work

Adequate first aid cover should be available whenever people are at work. There may be circumstances when a higher level of cover is needed when less people are at work, such as overnight maintenance work in a normally low risk environment.


The Distribution of the Workforce

First Aiders should be able to reach the scene of an incident quickly. Consider extra first aiders on large sites, sites with multiple buildings or buildings with multiple floors.


Remoteness to the site from Emergency Medical Services

If the workplace is remote from emergency medical services you may need to make special transport arrangements should an incident occur. Consider how employees will summon help – do they have access to a phone? Even in urban areas you should be aware that it often takes more than 10 minutes for an ambulance crew to reach a casualty, so the correct provision of first aid is a vital link in reducing the effects of illness or injury.


Employees Working on Shared or Multi-Occupied Sites

On shared work sites it may be possible to share first aid provision, such as the security team providing first aid cover at a large shopping centre. It is important to fully exchange details of the hazards and risks so that adequate first aid cover is provided. Make agreements in writing to avoid misunderstandings.


Annual leave and other foreseeable absences

You should ensure that adequate first aid cover is available at all times, including when a first aider is on annual leave, a training course, a lunch break or other foreseeable absences. This generally means that workplaces need more than one first aider to ensure that cover is maintained. 


If your first aid needs assessment identifies the need for a ‘First Aider at Work’ (18 hour course), it is not acceptable to provide an ‘Emergency First Aider at Work’ (6 hour course) to cover foreseeable absences. You should also consider what cover is needed for non-planned absences such as sick leave.


First Aid Provision for Non-Employees

The HSE recommend that you include non-employees in your first aid needs assessment. You should consider the duty of care that you assume when a non-employee visits your site. This is particularly relevant if you provide a service for others such as schools, places of entertainment, shops etc. Consider both the injuries and illnesses that could occur.

For large events such as concerts, organisers have a duty of care to ensure that adequate medical, ambulance and first aid cover is available. Organisers of such events should refer to The Event Safety Guide, published by HSE books, for further information.

The Size of the Organisation

The number of people on a site should no longer be the primary basis for determining first aid needs; all the areas of the new first aid needs assessment should be carefully considered. However, in general terms the larger your organisation is, the more first aiders you will need.

After identifying the locations / times that first aid cover is needed, the HSE recommend:

  • That ‘non-manual’, low risk workplaces (such as shops, offices, libraries) have a minimum 

  • That ‘manual’ workplaces (light assembly work, warehousing, food processing or higher risks), have a minimum of one first aider on duty at all times per 50 people (or part thereof).


Workplaces with more than 50 people:

It is likely that if your workplace is large you will have already identified the need for full FAW (18 hour) training for your first aiders; but in any case, due to the increased probability of illness and injury occurring in larger workplaces, the HSE recommend that full FAW (18 hour) training is provided in workplaces with 50 or more people.

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