The Health and Safety Executive has provide guidance on first aid provision during the current coronavirus restrictions. If first aid cover for your business is reduced because of coronavirus or you can not get the first aid training you need, there are some things you can do so that you still comply with the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981.
Businesses should review their first aid needs assessment and decide if they can still provide the cover needed for the workers that are present and the activities that they are doing.
Keep enough first aid cover
If there are fewer people coming into the workplace it may still be safe to operate with reduced first aid cover. Businesses should consider stopping higher risk activities.
Share first aid cover with another business
The HSE also suggests that businesses could share the first aiders of another business, but organisations must ensure that those first aiders have the knowledge, experience and availability to cover the first aid needs of each business.
Shared first aiders must:
- be aware of the type of injuries or illnesses that have been identified in the first aid needs assessment and have the training and skills to address them
- know enough about the work environment and its first aid facilities
- be able to get to the workplace in good time if needed
Whoever provides the temporary cover must make sure they do not adversely affect their own first aid cover.
First aid certificate extensions
The HSE will allow extensions in respect of first aid certificates which are expiring. Specifically, if you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access re-qualification training because of coronavirus you may qualify for a 3-month extension. This applies to:
- Offshore Medic (OM)
- Offshore First Aid (OFA)
- First Aid at Work (FAW)
- Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)
To qualify for the extension, you must be able to explain why you have not been able to re-qualify and demonstrate what steps you have taken to access the training, if asked to do so by the regulator.
Interrupted first aid training
If because of coronavirus you cannot complete training for your first aid qualification within the usual time frame, training can restart at a later date as long as:
- a full recap of training delivered before the interruption is done before moving onto undelivered modules
- the awarding body is content that you can show:
- a full understanding of all aspects of the course content
- the knowledge required and competencies at the end of the training
If you require advice on first aid provision in your business, please contact one of the Jacksons’ team.