Prepare for first aid at work changes

Students at a seminar/training session

St John Ambulance is calling upon local businesses to prepare for changes to first aid in the workplace on 1 October 2009.

The changes proposed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will see the biggest overhaul of first aid in the workplace for 25 years and employers who don’t prepare could face fines or, worse, risk the welfare of employees.

The worst possible scenario is that an employee is injured and a workplace has not got enough first aiders trained to deal with that situation.

Richard Evens
St John Ambulance Marketing Director

Taking health and safety seriously

St John Ambulance is on a mission to ensure everyone is aware of how the new guidelines will affect them and their business.

Richard Evens, Commercial Marketing Director, said: ‘It’s a sad fact that 180 people die every year from injuries caused at work. This number has gone down from 233 fatalities the previous year which shows how taking health and safety seriously can make the difference between life and death.

'We strongly recommend that businesses embrace the changes to continue to make our workplaces as safe as possible and ensure that if an accident does happen, they are well prepared.'

He continued: ‘The worst possible scenario is that an employee is injured and a workplace has not got enough first aiders trained to deal with that situation. We don’t know how the HSE will respond to breaches in regulations but businesses should be wary of fines or even charges under the corporate manslaughter act.'

Every year 6 million workdays are lost due to workplace injury – businesses could save money by putting precautions and first aiders in place, and the first aid charity are encouraging people to prepare now.

Richard Evens continues: ‘At St John Ambulance we train around half a million people in first aid every year and so we’re well placed to offer our help and expertise to businesses, schools and anyone who will be affected by these changes.

The changes will put the subject of health and safety in the spotlight which provides an excellent opportunity to remind businesses that the safety of their employees must been seen as a priority.’

Use our online assessment tool to find out what your workplace needs are.