First Aid & The Law (ACOP L74) - United Kingdom
IMPORTANT - Duty of Care
With the recent HSE court cases against employers who breach the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 receiving large fines it is essential to assess your first aid requirements including first aid training and maintain them.
FIRST AID AND THE LAW
The regulatory document governing the practices surrounding First Aid at Work was updated and issued in March 1997 and is known as the:-
Extracts taken from - APPROVED CODE OF PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE
Covering The Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (second edition 2009)
The document is commonly known as ACOP L74.
This code has been approved by the Health & Safety Commission and gives practical advice on how to comply with the law. Health & Safety Inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance as illustrating good practice.The Regulations are in place and are to be adhered to by all businesses. The relevant and salient regulations are:
“An employer shall provide, or ensure that there are provided, such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first-aid to be rendered to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work”.
“An employer should make an assessment of first-aid needs appropriate to the circumstances of each workplace”.
“Employers are responsible for meeting the first-aid needs of their employees working away from the main site, for example those who travel regularly or who work elsewhere. The assessment should determine whether those who travel long distances or are continuously mobile should carry a personal first-aid kit. Organisations with employees who work in remote areas should consider making special arrangements such as issuing personal communicators and providing special training. Where employees work alone, other means of summoning help such as a mobile phone, may be useful to call for assistance in an emergency”.
“There is no mandatory list of items that should be included in a first-aid container. The decision on what to provide will be influenced by the findings of the first aid needs assessment. As a guide, where work activities involve low hazards, a minimum stock of first aid items might be:"
“The contents of first aid containers should be examined frequently and restocked soon after use. Sufficent supplies should be held in stock on site. Care should be taken to dispose of items safely once they reach their expiry date."
“The needs assessment may indicate that there is a need for additional materials and equipment, for example scissors, adhesive tape, disposable aprons and individually wrapped moist wipes. These may be kept in the first aid container if there is room or stored seperatley."
ACOP 3(40) - Eyewash
“If mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, at least 1 litre of sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9%) in sealed, disposable containers should be provided. Once the seal has been broken, the containers should not be kept for re-use. The container should not be used after the expiry date”.
“Where the first aid assessment identifies a need for people to be available for rendering first aid, the employer should ensure that they are provided in sufficient numbers and at appropriate locations to enable first aid to be administered without delay should the occasion arise. Where 50 or more people are employed, at least one such person should be provided unless the assessment justifies otherwise”.
"When selecting someone to take up the role of a first aider, a number of factors need to be taken into account, including an idividual's:
• Reliability, disposition and communication skills;
• Aptitude and ability to absorb new knowledge and learn new skills;
• Ability to cope with stressful and physically demanding emergency procedure;
• Normal Duties. These should be such that they may be left to go immediately and rapidly to an emergency.
ACOP 3(67) APPOINTED PERSON
“Where an employer’s assessment of first-aid needs identifies that a first aider is not necessary, the minimum requirement on an employer is to appoint a person to take charge of the first aid arrangements, including looking after the equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services when required. Arrangements should be made for an appointed person to be available to undertake these duties at all times when people are at work”.
ACOP 3 (69)
“To fulfil their role, appointed persons do not need first aid training, though emergency first aid training courses are available. Therefore, it is important to remember that appointed persons are not first aiders and so should not attempt to give first aid for which they have not been trained. Given this and the remaining possibility of an accident or sudden illness, rather than providing appointed persons, employers may wish to consider providing qualified first-aiders”.