Four questions to help businesses save lives

First aid training in the workplace.

St John Ambulance has launched a campaign to help businesses become first aid compliant.

Risky business

Failing to have a minimum number of trained first aiders in the workplace is against the law. Yet four out of five (79%) businesses admitted there had been occasions when a trained first aider wasn't available, leaving them open to legal, financial and reputational risks. St John Ambulance is determined to change this and has launched a campaign to help more companies become first aid compliant.

The repercussions for non-compliance can be immense. In 2010 there were over 1,100 cases of businesses being taken to court because of health and safety failings, resulting in fines for not having first aiders present.

Take quick action

St John Ambulance is inviting businesses to answer four simple questions at www.sja.org.uk/survey to help determine whether or not they are meeting statutory first aid requirements. If results indicate companies risk fines or legal action, the first aid organisation can provide advice and, if necessary, professional workplace first aid training. Many businesses have already taken the survey, and of those not legally compliant some are swiftly taking steps to change this.

'On any given day, first aiders might be absent because of illness, holiday or training. Or there may not be sufficient first aid cover because many companies are not meeting the legal minimum in the first place,' said Richard Evens, St John Ambulance's Director of Training and Marketing.

This means that if someone has an injury and is bleeding – or even has a heart attack – there may not be anyone to provide the vital first aid that could be the difference between life and death in an emergency.

'We are delighted with the take-up of our survey so far and the fact that it has already resulted in some businesses making positive changes,' he said.

Put your business through the test

To complete the survey, go to www.sja.org.uk/survey. Alternatively, if you would prefer to discuss your needs with a St John Ambulance consultant call 0844 324 5535.