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Why every workplace should have a designated first-aider

Unfortunately, accidents and illness do happen in the workplace, and people at work may require immediate attention to save their life or prevent a minor injury from becoming worse.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide first-aid equipment, facilities and people to help employees if they become ill or injured at work. By law, any workplace must have an appointed person to oversee first-aid, although you do not need to have a designated, trained first-aider.

What is a first-aider?

A first-aider is an individual who has been trained and holds a recognised qualification including:

  • Emergency first aid at work (EFAW)
  • First aid at work (FAW)

Why do I need a designated first-aider?

A qualified first-aider could be the difference between life and death, yet 79% of businesses have periods of time throughout the year (often during the summer months) when no trained first-aiders are on site.

If a fatality occurred at work because an employer did not follow health and safety procedures, they could be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter Act and the family of the deceased could make a claim for fatal injury compensation.

Even with minor injuries, if they are not attended to by a first-aider and were due to employer negligence, an employee could claim for personal injury compensation.

Claiming for compensation

It’s important for workplaces to have a designated, trained first-aider, particularly if the workplace has lots of hazards – for example staff working with chemicals or carrying out heavy lifting.

In industrial environments, injuries requiring medical attention are more likely to happen. If you have been injured as a result of an accident at work and have not received any first aid, or if your employer failed to provide a first aid kit or designate a person to assist with first aid, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

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