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Why Is First Aid Important In The Workplace

Published April 06, 2016 (last updated February 9, 2023) - Head of Health and Safety
Importance Of First Aid In The Workplace

What is the legal requirement for first aid at work?

Every workplace is different, which means the first aid requirements will vary depending on the type of business, the size, the location and the number of employees. Workplaces must have arrangements in place, which are tailored to their specific circumstance.

Accidents can occur in all workplaces regardless of the industry, however being prepared and knowing how to minimise potential risk can help prevent an incident and/or reoccurring accidents. A workplace must provide, as far as is reasonably practicable, a safe working environment for all employees. This includes having first aid kits and suitably trained first aid officers.

How many first aid kits should a workplace have?

All employees must be able to easily access a first aid kit. The quantity of first aid kits depends on the size of the workplace and risk level. A high risk workplace is one where employees are exposed to hazards which could result in serious injury or illness. For example, employees who frequently use hazardous machinery, work from heights, work in confined spaces or work in or around extreme temperatures. A low risk workplace is one where employees are not exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illnesses.

A low risk workplace requirement

  • one first aid kit for every 10 to 50 employees
  • one additional kit is required for every additional 50 employees up to 200
  • after 200, one additional kit is required for every additional 100 employees

A higher risk workplaces requirement

  • one first aid kit for up to 25 employees
  • two kits for up to 50 employees.
  • more than 50 employees, one additional kit is required for every additional 50 employees

If there is no medical service readily available, then at least one first aid kit is required for every 25 employees. Employees who work alone or in remote locations must have easy access to a first aid kit.

What should be in a first aid kit in the workplace?

Whilst the content of first aid kits may vary across different workplaces, each first aid kit should always include the basic equipment for administering first aid to injuries. The exact contents should be based on your specific risk assessment conducted for your workplace. A first aider who has had the adequate training (refer to the next section for information on what constitutes adequate training), should be nominated to maintain the first aid kit.

The first aid kit should be easily identifiable, and made from material which will protect its contents from dust, moisture and contamination.

What is a first aider?

A first aider is the term used to describe a person who has completed a nationally accredited training course that has taught them how to administer first aid. First aiders should attend training on an annual basis, in order to keep up to date on accurate processes and procedures. Depending on the type of workplace, some first aiders may need to undertake training in order to respond to specific hazards within their workplace.

First aiders should also maintain accurate and up to date records, which includes a record of any first aid given.

If you have any questions relating to first aid in your business, contact Employsure today on 1300 651 415. Our specialists can answer any questions you may have in relations to work health and safety to ensure your business is compliant.

About Employsure

Employsure is Australia’s largest workplace relations specialists. We take the complexity out of workplace laws to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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