All employers must undertake a first-aid needs assessment in order to ascertain whether their company requires the appointment of a qualified first-aider, and if so, how many.
For low-risk companies, the presence of a first-aider may prove to be unnecessary, but they still need to choose an ‘appointed person’. This individual will need to take responsibility for any first-aid equipment (replenishing the first-aid kit, ensuring use-by dates are respected etc.) as well as for contacting the emergency services when necessary. He or she can also provide emergency cover if the qualified first-aider is unexpectedly absent.
This role does not necessitate first-aid training, although the value of emergency first aid training courses should not be underestimated. The six hour course will equip individuals with the knowledge and confidence needed to be able to deal effectively with an incident.
Awareness of common workplace injuries and the priorities of first aid will prepare the appointed person for situations such as bleeding, unconsciousness, shock and resuscitation, meaning that he or she will be able to deal with such situations in a calm, confident and efficient manner.