Emergency First Aid at Work vs. First Aid at Work, What Training Does My Workplace Need?

first aid training

Emergency first aid at work vs First aid at work – Not sure what your responsibilities are when it comes to having trained first aid employees in the workplace? This article gives you an outline of what’s needed in terms of employee training and first aid qualifications, so you can make sure that you are in compliance with The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981.

First Aid Needs Assessment

Prior to deciding on the type of first aider required at work, a first aid needs assessment must be undertaken.  The purpose of this assessment is to determine the appropriate first aid needs that will be required based on the hazards and risks in the workplace. The output of the assessment should cover areas such as shift patterns, accidents and illness within the organisation, and distance of the site from emergency services, to name a few.

What is Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)?

A first aider who has completed an Emergency First Aid at Work training course will be able to apply emergency first aid in the workplace to anyone who is injured or becomes ill at work.  If a workplace has low level hazards and between 25-50 employees, or higher level hazards and between 5-50 employees, having at least one first aider trained in Emergency First Aid at Work, is the minimum requirement under the first aid regulations.

The emergency first aid course is short and completed in just a day.

The Emergency First Aid at Work course allows people to learn how to do and treat the following:

  • Acting safely, promptly and effectively in an emergency
  • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Treating an unconscious casualty
  • Choking
  • Wounds and bleeding
  • Shock
  • Minor injuries
  • Preventing cross infection, recording incidents and actions and the use of available equipment

What is First Aid at Work? (FAW)

First Aid at Work is the extended course that builds on the Emergency First Aid at Work course. A first aider who has completed the first aid at work course will be able to perform all the duties of the EFAW, but most importantly the first aider will be able to apply first aid to specific illness and injuries.

You must have at least one First Aid at Work trained first aider if your workplace, based on your needs assessment, is considered to be a low hazard environment and there are 50 or more employees on site.  For every 100 employed on site, or part thereof, there must be one additional first Aid at Work trained first aider.  

In you work in a higher hazard workplace, it’s at least one First Aid at Work trained first aider per 50 employees, or part thereof. These people will receive a First Aid at Work certificate.

The FAW course covers these areas in addition to the EFAW course:

  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Chest injuries
  • Severe burns and scalds
  • Eye injuries
  • Poisoning
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes

If there are employees in your workplace that are at risk of any of the above, even if you have less than the required number of employees necessary to have a FAW trained first aider on site, it would be advisable to have a First Aid at Work trained first aider.  This should be a consideration as part of your first aid needs assessment.  The course is a 3 day first aid course.

What is an Appointed Person?

An appointed person is not a trained EFAW or FAW first aider. This is the minimum provision that an employer must provide if the first-aid needs analysis indicates that a first aider is not required.

This person has responsibility for any first aid arrangements on site, including first aid equipment, first aid kits, a first aid room if applicable, provision of emergency numbers and procedures to staff, and communication with emergency services.

For every workplace with low level hazards and less than 25 staff, or higher level hazards and less than 5 staff, an appointed person is required. If there are sufficient first aiders on site, there is no requirement to have any appointed persons.

A guide to minimum first aid staffing for your workplace

Hazard level Number of staff Minimum first aiders required
Low level Less than 25 Appointed person
25 to 50 1 EFAW
50+ 1 FAW per 100 employees or part thereof
Higher level Less than 5 Appointed person
5-50 1 EFAW or FAW, depend on the dangers
50+ 1 FAW per 50 employees or part thereof

Emergency First Aid at Work & First Aid at Work refresher training?

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that first aiders (EFAW or FAW) should undertake an annual refresher training course, which will ensure that the information learnt remains fresh and up to date.   This HSE first aid training can be provided through an online eLearning course or in a classroom setting.

Remember that everyone has days off, so you should always train more employees than necessary to cover first aid requirements, so that you never end up without the minimum number of first aiders on site at any given time. Read more about first aid at work from the Health and Safety Executive, or contact us for further advice on Emergency First Aid at Work and First Aid at Work.

At Howlett Health & Safety Services we provide several online training courses that are specifically chosen to provide comprehensive training on key health and safety programs, including emergency first aid at work refresher training.  Information on this training is found here and if you sign up the first module is free so you can view before you buy.  All our online training courses are either RoSPA, IIRSM or CPD approved.

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