First aiders and emergency first aiders are the two types of first aider as set out by the Health and Safety Executive. All employers must ensure that they provide adequate first aid facilities and personnel in order to protect the lives of their employees in the event of an accident or illness at work.
In a nutshell, an emergency first aider’s role is to maintain life and prevent the situation from worsening while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. A first-aider should be able to recognise and diagnose injuries and illness, as well as understanding how to administer emergency treatment and life support.
Any business will be able to determine what constitutes adequate first-aid cover if it conducts a full risk assessment of the premises and processes involved in its activity. Checklists are available from the HSE so that employers can carry out an effective assessment of first aid needs.
Once specific needs have been identified, it is important to ensure that the correct number of employees receives the appropriate first aid training, and that they attend refresher courses on a regular basis.