First aid blog


Tuesday 17 April 2018

Writing your First Aid Needs Assessment


First Aid Needs Assessment is one of those classically arduous things that someone needs to write for your business.  Today’s post is designed to give you an understanding of what it’s all about.

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A First Aid Needs Assessment is one of those classically arduous things that someone needs to write for your business. It’s in the category of “You won’t feel like there’s any good reason to actually bother doing it until you really need to have done it and something’s gone wrong as a result of not having it” (quite a popular category for many business owners, it seems).

Today’s post is designed to give you an understanding of what it’s all about.

The purpose of such an assessment is to work out how many First Aiders your workplace needs, what First Aid equipment you need to have on-site and how much training your First Aiders should have. There are some good guidelines on this provided by the HSE (the useful questions and guidelines are mostly on pages 9 – 13) which will consider various factors. The factors most likely to affect the largest number of businesses are as follows:

  • Number of employees
  • Level of risk present in the workplace
  • Geography of the workplace
  • Shift patterns
  • Previous history of accidents and incidents
  • Annual leave and other absence

There are others, but those give you a good idea of your most important starting points. For more detail and clarification, check out the hyperlink.

Many businesses, if measured up, would fail to meet the recommendations made by the HSE. In my opinion, the recommendations are actually pretty low anyway. One of the biggest factors that many employers often overlook is the annual leave and absence concept. If your Needs Assessment highlights that you need six First Aiders on staff (let’s assume there are no shift patterns and everyone is at work for the same days and hours) you’re still going to need a minimum of eight First Aiders trained up, because the six needs to be on site at all times. If a couple of First Aiders happen to be away from site at the same time, you’ll still need six on site to meet your assessment.

Here's a couple of last-minute tips for you on your First Aid Needs Assessment:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Make sure you implement whatever you put in that assessment

 

Take care and check for danger,
Richard