HSE Proposed Changes – Background:
The Current First Aid in the Workplace provision is based on Regulations over 25 years old. Twenty five years ago the workplace was considerably different, heavy machinery was commonplace and a Health and Safety culture was next to nonexistent. Today accidents still occur but thankfully are rare in frequency and normally less serious in nature. However, we now have an aging workforce which has its own problems.
In 2002 the HSE started a review of re-matching the needs of industry with first aid provision.
The HSE are now moving forward with a range of changes.
The HSE has a remit to the employer and employee for aid provision in the workplace. Surprisingly, it has no legal responsibility to the training industry itself, except in setting adequate training standards. However the HSE will retain the responsibility of setting standards as this is part of their legal remit.
Finally, any changes must have the support of the employers so changes tend to be a compromise by giving in certain areas and taking back in others.
Although a considerable number of changes are proposed, only the main changes are listed here.
Changes – Training Courses:
- The commonly known Appointed Person one day course (currently unregulated) is to come under the control of the HSE. It will be called Emergency First Aid At Work (EFAW). The HSE recommends a yearly refresher course (3 hrs) and a repeat of the full EFAW course every three years (6 hrs – mandatory). Trainees completing the EFAW course will be considered as first aiders.
- The current 4 day First Aid at Work course (FAW) will be reduced to three days (18hrs). The HSE likewise recommends a yearly refresher (3 hrs) plus a two day (12 hr) requalification course every three years (mandatory).
- The requirement for an Appointed Person remains. However, it is unlikely that any training will be required except for basic instruction in calling the emergency services and keeping the FA Kit stocked etc.
Changes – Training Providers.
HSE approved training providers will automatically be approved to run the EFAW 1 day course and the FAW course.
Non HSE approved training providers wishing to run the EFAW course have two/three options:
- To become HSE approved and also run a minimum of 6 FAW courses per year
- Use a QCA Awarding Body, become approved by them and run their EFAW course. An initial approval payment and a payment per certificate will be charged by the Awarding Body.
- To come under the control of an existing HSE approved training provider as a ‘franchisee’.
In-house occupational health professionals can provide annual refresher training. HPC registered Paramedics will be exempt from requiring a FAW qualification to carry out training and assessing. They still require experience / qualifications in FA training and assessing.
Guidance to the Approved Code of Practice. – Changes
The HSE are issuing further guidance as to the requirements for first aid provision in the workplace. The above training changes result in two levels of first aider, this in turn will enable a closer match of first aid provision to the needs of the workplace. Although the HSE has produced draft guidance, on this matching process, this is likely to change and hence is excluded from this bulletin. Further information to follow.
The HSE has recently announced an implementation date of October 2009. However, minor changes are likely to be introduced later this year.
HSE Consultation Documents for download and reference.
First Aid at Work – Certificate extensions
The HSE has changed their policy regarding attendance on FAW requalification courses where a students certificate has expired.
A first aider can attend an FAw requalification course up to 3 months before the expiry date on their certificate. Where this has not been possible HSE will allow an extension of the certificate for 28 days beyond the expiry date, and the requalification course should be completed within this time.
There is no need to contact the HSE to request the extension. Any first aider who is unable to complete the requalification course up to a maximum of 28 days after the expiry date, will be required to retake a full FAW course anyone requalifying within the period of certification extension shouldhave their new certificate dated from the expiry date of the previous one.
FIRST AID – Proposed changes to FAW & FAW Requalification courses.
HSE Proposed changes to the employers responsibility to provide first-aiders and their training.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 are being reviewed by the Health and Safety Executive and where possible the following information takes account of the recommendations for change with regard to the levels and training of first-aiders, which are due to be implemented in early 2006.
First Aid provision in the workplace saves lives. It can prevent medical conditions or minor injuries from becoming major ones. It can help employers reduce costs from injury and it is a legal obligation on every single employer to make sure that their employees receive the right first aid care in the workplace.
The legal obligation
Employers have an obligation under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 and Approved Code of Practice (ACOP L74) to make adequate and appropriate First Aid Provision for their workforce. It is recommended that someone is able to undertake First Aid duties at all times when people are at work.
All employers must, in the absence of first-aiders, nominate an Appointed Person/s to take charge of the first aid arrangements, including looking after the facilities and equipment and calling the emergency services when required. (no training required).
It should be remembered that appointed persons are not first-aiders and so should not attempt to give first aid for which they have not been trained.Where employer’s assessment of first aid needs indicates one or more first-aiders should be available, two first aid training course options will be available either:
- Emergency First Aid – 6 hours (presently Emergency Aid for Appointed Persons)
- First Aid at Work – 24 hours (proposed 18 hours)
When the proposals come into effect, both will be required to attend a annual refresher course.