Health and safety regulation changes survey identifies top training needs

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St John Ambulance surveyed business of all sizes and across all sectors to find out how much they knew about the forthcoming workplace regulation changes for health and safety provision; how prepared they are; and what impact they foresee the changes having on their business.

Over 2,200 businesses responded – so thank you if you were one of them – and the results have proved very interesting:

Workplace risk profiles: identifying your first aid needs

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of businesses currently consider two factors above all others when determining how many first aiders they require in their workplace, and the appropriate level of training: 

  • The general nature of the work (degree of risk) 
  • The size of the workforce.

This corresponds with the current Approved Code of Practice for determining first aid provision. The fact that this is likely to be one of the key changes made to the regulatory guidance for businesses suggests that many employers will need to make changes to the way they assess their workplace first aid needs; placing a much greater focus on things like the make up of the workforce and individual employee needs such as existing health conditions.

To find out more, take a look at our helpful article about identifying your first aid needs, which explains the forthcoming changes.

Due diligence: choosing the right first aid training

After the regulation changes are in place, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approval of training providers and courses will be removed. This means that, while employers will have greater freedom to choose the right training, the onus of responsibility will be on them to make sure that the training and the qualifications received by their first aiders are appropriate and meet the required standards.

The vast majority of employers we surveyed said that by far the most important factor in choosing training is the quality of the training itself. More specifically, employers want the reassurance that first aid trainers are fully and appropriately qualified with relevant knowledge of the latest first aid protocols.

If you’re training with St John Ambulance then you’re in safe hands. We are the UK’s leading first aid organisation and teach more people from more businesses and organisations than any other provider. Our training services will always meet the standards you need to satisfy your legal requirements for first aid provision.

Find out more about choosing the right training provider.

Additional training: satisfying all your workplace first aid needs

There are two ‘off the peg’ first aid qualifications for businesses: 

  • First aid at work – a three-day (18 hours) course covering the first aid protocols required for most workplaces
  • Emergency first aid at work – a one-day (six hours) course covering emergency protocols only, for workplaces with a lower risk profile.

Under the proposed new regulations, employers will need to think about additional training needs not covered by these two qualifications. In our survey, the top three needs in UK businesses and organisations are:

  1. Using an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the safe treatment of cardiac arrest 
  2. Anaphylaxis first aid for the treatment of people suffering from severe allergic reactions, including administering medication with an epi-pen 
  3. Paediatric first aid for those who work with young children and infants.

St John Ambulance training can be as flexible as you need it to be. We can: 

  • provide the additional training to meet your requirements as separate courses, scheduled at our venues across the country or delivered to groups on your premises
  • combine courses into one training session, so your first aiders get all the training they need at once
  • design a tailor-made course and deliver it to your first aiders on your premises for workplaces where an entirely customised training solution is required.

First aid rooms: the right supplies and equipment

Over three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed said that there isn’t a dedicated first aid room in their workplace. When most workplaces are considered, this is unsurprising, but it’s very important that there is at least a designated and suitable first aid area where a casualty can be safely treated, with the necessary privacy from the rest of the workplace.

In addition, 61% of respondents said that there isn’t suitable equipment in their workplaces for safely moving casualties. This is something that all employers should consider, especially where stairs are involved. In many workplaces, things like machinery or hazardous substances nearby can make it unsafe to treat a casualty where they are, meaning having the right equipment, and people who can use it, is essential.

Staying on top of the changes

At the moment, the regulation changes are still in proposal so it’s important that those whose responsibilities at work include health and safety and first aid provision make sure they are kept up to date and can prepare for the implementation of the new regulations and guidance for employers.

St John Ambulance makes this easy for employers: 

  1. Make sure you sign up to receive our e-newsletters and everything you need to know will drop straight into your inbox 
  2. Join our group on LinkedIn: a forum where we post important updates for businesses and answer your questions on first aid and health and safety 
  3. Visit our website, where our guidance and interactive tools will be updated regularly to help you stay on top of the changes 
  4. If you want to discuss your first aid and health and safety needs, call 0844 770 4800 and get straight through to a friendly, trained Customer Service Adviser in your area.

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