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- First Aid Needs Assessment
- 3 Day First Aid at Work Course
- 1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work Course


First Aid Needs Assessment

Changes to Health & Safety
First Aid at Work Regulations

Guide to Carrying out a First Aid Needs Assessment

The new First Aid at Work Guidelines for Employers from the Health and Safety Executive are effective from 1st October 2009.  The new type of first aid needs assessment will identify what type of first aid training your first aiders will need, how many first aiders you need and where they should be located.

A First Aid Needs Assessment should consider the following topics:

  • the nature of the work, the hazards and the risks
  • the nature of the workforce
  • the organisation’s history of accidents and illness
  • the needs of travelling, remote and lone workers
  • work patterns such as shift work
  • the distribution of the workforce
  • the remoteness of the site from emergency medical services
  • employees working on shared or multi-occupied sites
  • annual leave and other absences of first aiders
  • first-aid provision for non-employees
  • the size of the organisation


The nature of the work, the hazards and the risks
One of the more complicated areas of the new first aid needs assessment is considering ‘the nature of the work, the hazards and the risks’. You should consider the risks and identify what possible injuries could occur in order to ensure sufficient first aid provision is available.
The following table, compiled using information from the Health & Safety Executive, identifies some common workplace risks and the possible injuries that could occur:


Possible Injuries Requiring First Aid

Manual Handling

Fractures, lacerations, sprains and strains.

Slip and trip hazards

Fractures, sprains and strains, lacerations.


Crush injuries, amputations, fractures, lacerations, eye injuries.

Work at height

Head injury, loss of consciousness, spinal injury, fractures, sprains and strains.

Workplace transport

Crush injuries, fractures, sprains and strains, spinal injuries.


Electric shock, burns.


Poisoning, loss of consciousness, burns, eye injuries.

The table is not comprehensive and does not cover all the risks that could occur in a workplace, so you should look at each area of the workplace and document the risks and the possible injuries.

One reason for this exercise is to ensure that you provide the correct type of first aider(s). There are now two levels of workplace first aider:

  • Emergency First Aider at Work (EFAW) – 6 hour course
  • First Aider at Work (FAW) – 18 hour course.

You should ensure that your first aiders are trained to deal with the injuries and illness that could occur. The table below will help you match your requirements to the most appropriate course:

Please click to enlarge

Extra, specialised training and provision may be needed for hazards such as chemicals, dangerous machinery, working in confined spaces etc.
You should also consider the possible illnesses that could occur in the workplace and ensure you have adequate provision.

The Nature of the Workforce
You should consider the needs and health of all workers and ensure that first aiders are available and trained to deal with specific health needs. You should consider things such as:

  • The Young
  • The Elderly
  • Specific health problems (such as heart conditions, asthma, diabetes etc.)
  • Disabilities

The Organisation’s History of Accidents and Illness
You should look at the organisations history of accidents and illness to try and identify any needs or trends that may influence the location or type of first aider. Different levels of provision may be required in different areas of the workplace.

The Needs of Travelling, Remote and Lone Workers
First Aid should be available wherever people work so you may need to consider providing personal first aid kits or training to travelling, remote or lone workers.

Work Patterns Such as Shift Work
Adequate first aid cover should be available whenever people are at work. There may be circumstances when a higher level of cover is needed when less people are at work, such as overnight maintenance work in a normally low risk environment.

The Distribution of the Workforce
First Aiders should be able to reach the scene of an incident quickly. Consider extra first aiders on large sites, sites with multiple buildings or buildings with multiple floors.

Remoteness to the site from Emergency Medical Services
If the workplace is remote from emergency medical services you may need to make special transport arrangements should an incident occur. Consider how employees will summon help – do they have access to a phone?
Even in urban areas you should be aware that it often takes more than 10 minutes for an ambulance crew to reach a casualty, so the correct provision of first aid is a vital link in reducing the effects of illness or injury.

Employees Working on Shared or Multi-Occupied Sites
On shared work sites it may be possible to share first aid provision, such as the security team providing first aid cover at a large shopping centre. It is important to fully exchange details of the hazards and risks so that adequate first aid cover is provided. Make agreements in writing to avoid misunderstandings.

Annual leave and other foreseeable absences
You should ensure that adequate first aid cover is available at all times, including when a first aider is on annual leave, a training course, a lunch break or other foreseeable absences. This generally means that workplaces need more than one first aider to ensure that cover is maintained.
If your first aid needs assessment identifies the need for a ‘First Aider at Work’ (18 hour course), it is not acceptable to provide an ‘Emergency First Aider at Work’ (6 hour course) to cover foreseeable absences. You should also consider what cover is needed for non-planned absences such as sick leave.

First Aid Provision for Non-Employees
The HSE recommend that you include non-employees in your first aid needs assessment. You should consider the duty of care that you assume when a non-employee visits your site. This is particularly relevant if you provide a service for others such as schools, places of entertainment, shops etc. Consider both the injuries and illnesses that could occur.
For large events such as concerts, organisers have a duty of care to ensure that adequate medical, ambulance and first aid cover is available. Organisers of such events should refer to The Event Safety Guide, published by HSE books, for further information.

The Size of the Organisation
The number of people on a site should no longer be the primary basis for determining first aid needs; all the areas of the new first aid needs assessment should be carefully considered. However, in general terms the larger your organisation is, the more first aiders you will need.

After identifying the locations / times that first aid cover is needed, the HSE recommend:

  • That ‘non-manual’, low risk workplaces (such as shops, offices, libraries) have a minimum of one first aider on duty at all times per 100 people (or part thereof).
  • That ‘manual’ workplaces (light assembly work, warehousing, food processing or higher risks), have a minimum of one first aider on duty at all times per 50 people (or part thereof).

It is likely that if your workplace is large you will have already identified the need for full FAW (18 hour) training for your first aiders, but in any case, due to the increased probability of illness and injury occurring in larger workplaces, the HSE recommend that full FAW (18 hour) training is provided if:

  • 100 or more people are employed in a ‘non-manual’, low risk workplace; or
  • 50 or more people are employed in a ‘manual’ or higher risk workplace.

Reviewing the First Aid Needs Assessment
You should review your first aid needs from time to time, particularly if you have operational changes in your workplace. It is recommended that a record is kept of incidents dealt with by first aiders to assist in this process.
Annual Refresher Training
Due to the wealth of evidence on the severity of ‘first aid skill fade’, the HSE now recommend that all First Aiders attend annual refresher training. The flow chart below shows the new sequence of training:

Please click to enlarge

3 Day First Aid at Work Course

Fire & First Aid Training Abertawe Limited
3 Day First Aid at Work Course

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

0900 to 0945 (45 min)
Assembly & Introduction
Aims of First Aid
Communication & Delegation
in an Emergency
Priorities of Treatment

0900 to 0930 (30 min)

First Aid Quiz/Revision

0900 to 0930 (30 min)

First Aid Quiz/Revision

0945 to 1030

CPR - Adult

0930 to 1030
The circulatory system
(10 min)
Blood loss theory/
Internal Bleeding (30 min)
Types of wound (inc
Treatments) (20 min)

0930 to 1050

Skeletal System (10 min)
Fracture Signs &
Symptoms (15 min)
Fracture & Treatment (55 min)

1030 to 1045 (15 min)

1030 to 1045 (15 min)

1050 to 1105 (15 min)

1045 to 1145 (1 hr)
CPR – Adult
Student Practice
Child & Baby CPR

1045 to 1105 (20 min)
Treatment of Severe Bleeding

1105 to 1205 (1 hr)
Sprains & Strains (10 min)
Head & Spinal Injuries (50 min)

1145 to 1200 (15 min)
Use of Face Shield
Recognition & Treatment of Regurgitation

11o5 to 1200 (55 min)
First Aid Kits

1205 to 1235 (30 min)


1200 to 1230 (30 min)


1200 to 1230 (30 min)


1235 to 1335 (1hr)
Epilepsy/Seizures (30 min)
Diabetes (30 min)

1230 to 1310 (40 min)
Unconscious Patient

1230 to 1325 (55 min)

1335 to 1415 (40 min)
Secondary Survey
CPR/Assessment Practice

1310 to 1440 (1hr30 min)
Hypoxia causes/S & S
(incl. Resp. System & chest injuries)

1325 to 1425 (1 hr)
Angina and
Heart Attack

1415 to 1430 (15 min)
Incident Recording

1440 to 1455 (15 min)

1425 to 1440 (15 min)

1430 to 1600 (1hr30 min)
Final Assessments
Max 6 students per assessor.
Assessor should not have taught the course

1455 to 1515 (20 min)

1440 to 1505 (25 min)
Stoke “Brain Attack”

1600 to 1630 (30 min)
Communication of Results
Course Evaluation/Closure

1515 to 1630 (45 min)
Re-cap and Q & A’s
Issue Homework

1505 to 1630 (1hr25 min)
Burns & Scalds (45 min)
Poisoning (15 min)
CPR/Recovery Practice (25 min)
Issue Homework



1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work Course

Fire & First Aid Training Abertawe Limited
1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work Course

0900 – 0915

Assembly & Introduction

0915 – 0945

Aims of First Aid
Dealing with an Emergency

0915 – 0945

Priorities of Treatment
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation – Adult

1030 – 1045     


1045 – 1145

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (cont) Adult, Child, Baby

1145 – 1200

Recognition & treatment of regurgitation.  Use of face shields

1200 – 1245     


1245 – 1315

Choking – Adult, Child, Baby

1315 – 1400

Unconscious Patient:
Including recovery position & dealing with a patient who is in seizure (fitting)

1400 – 1430

Blood loss theory, internal bleeding, recognition & treatment of shoc

1430 – 1445     


1445 – 1530

Wounds and Bleeding
Cross infection/Treatment of bleeding & minor injuries

1530 – 1600

Burns and Scalds

1530 – 1600

Recording Incidents and First Aid Actions

1530 – 1600

Course evaluation and closure



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