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In particular, you must:
• provide adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities for enabling first aid to be rendered to employees
• ensure there is an adequate and appropriate person (or number of people) to render first aid to employees
See Practice Note: First aid in the workplace—regulatory requirements.
In order to establish what provision is required in your workplace and to determine what will be adequate and appropriate for your circumstances, you should carry out a first aid needs assessment—see:
• Practice Note: Conducting a first aid needs assessment.
• Precedent: First aid needs assessment.
If your workplace is open during the coronavirus pandemic, you must ensure your first aid arrangements remain in compliance with your legal requirements. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic may require you to review and amend your arrangements.
The HSE has published guidance on first aid during the coronavirus outbreak, covering:
• first aid in non-healthcare settings, including needs assessments and advice for first aiders
• first aid cover and qualifications
The government has also published guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed on working safely during coronavirus, but this guidance does not specifically refer to first aid provision. For more information on workplace safety during the pandemic, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—safe working in an office environment.
You should discuss the assessment with your first aiders. They will need to be confident about providing the right assistance and knowing what equipment they can use to minimise the risk of infection.
You should ensure all your first aiders understand the HSE’s best practice recommendations and have a copy of the:
•HSE guidance, and
• Resuscitation Council UK guidance.
The HSE guidance recommends that the following equipment be used when giving first aid, if available:
• a fluid-repellent surgical mask
• disposable gloves
• eye protection
• apron or other suitable covering
You should therefore also review the availability of protective equipment for your first aiders and ensure they know what is available and have access to it.
You may be able to share the first aiders of another business, provided the shared first aiders:
• have the knowledge, experience and availability to cover the first aid needs of your business
• are aware of the type of injuries or illnesses that you identified in your first aid needs assessment and are able to address them
• know enough about your workplace and first aid facilities
• would be able to get to your workplace in good time if needed
• do not compromise the cover at their other workplace by providing temporary cover at your workplace
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