HSE Shortens First Aid Training
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reduced the length of the first aid training course that businesses with a nominated first aider are required to take, in an attempt to save firms time and money.
Since 1st October, the mandatory training course for first aid certificate holders has been reduced from four to three days.
The change, brought in following consultation with employers, is intended to make it easier and cheaper for firms to comply with health and safety obligations — particularly small businesses owners reluctant to lose staff over a four-day training period.
The HSE has also introduced a one day first aid course aimed specifically at small businesses.
Employers with qualified first aid staff do not need to immediately retrain employees following the course changes, because the three-year renewal for any existing first aid certificates will still apply.
“First aid can help to save lives and prevent minor injuries becoming major ones,” said the HSE’s principal medical inspector, Dr Dil Sen. “The revised guidance will help employers to get first aid training that suits their business needs and saves them both time and money.”
Firms that identify that they need one or more fully-trained first-aiders must send their chosen candidates on an HSE-approved course every three years.
Whether businesses need to train staff in first aid, however, depends on the degree of risk highlighted in their health and safety risk assessment. Low risk businesses, such as shops and offices, may not need a fully-trained first aider — especially if they only have a few employees.
According to the HSE, UK businesses will save £52 million in the first year of the new training regime.
For more information about the new HSE first aid training guidelines, visit the website www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid