University of Stirling Review of the First Aid at Work (FAW) Regulations
Review of the First Aid at Work Regulations SHE 5/09 No 2 Prepared by David Duckett, University Safety Adviser
Review of the First Aid at Work (FAW) Regulations
Overview: A review of the FAW Regulations has been conducted by the HSE. The outcome of this review was a recommendation to make changes to first aid training courses. After an extensive consultation process, the HSE developed a new training regime. The Committee is asked to note these changes and how they affect the provision of first aid training at the University.
Current position: The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide suitable first aid equipment, training, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work. Currently, the HSE approve two statutory courses – a First Aid at Work course, requiring 24 hours tuition, and a refresher course, requiring 12 hours tuition. In addition, most training providers provide a one day course aimed at Appointed Persons.
The First Aid at work course will enable candidates to:
provide emergency first aid as above
administer first aid to a casualty with injuries to bones, muscles and joints including suspected spinal injuries, chest injuries, burns and scalds, eye injuries, sudden poisoning and anaphylactic shock.
Recognise the presence of major illness and provide appropriate first aid (includes heart attack, stroke, epilepsy, asthma and diabetes).
Heads of Department and Service Directors should carry out a first aid needs assessment to ensure the type of training course chosen is appropriate for the circumstances of their department. The University Security section will continue to provide contingency FAW cover and all security personnel will continue to be FAW certificated.
Staff wishing to become a first aider after 1 October 2009 will be required to take the new course (either EFAW or FAW dependant on the first aid requirements of their department).
Existing first aid certificate holders will not be required to take a new course until their current certificate expires at the end of the three year period. If they choose to continue as a first aider they should take the new requalification course (either EFAW or FAW dependant on the first aid requirements of their department) to obtain a new certificate.
Annual refresher training is also recommended (but not mandatory) within the three year period of certification of both FAW and EFAW.
Implementation: The HSE intends to introduce the changes to first aid training courses from 1 October 2009.
Currently, FAW and FAW re-qualification courses are provided by OHSAS and Sports Studies. OHSAS also provide annual refresher courses for first aiders. Both OHSAS and Sports studies will be required to gain approval through the HSE’s First Aid Approval and Monitoring Section before they can deliver the new courses. Detailed guidance for first aid training providers will be available from 1 April 2009.
Detailed guidance will also be available for employers as a revision of the current document ‘First aid at Work – The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 – Approved Code of Practice’ (L74). Within this, it is only the guidance that is being revised, the Regulations and Approved Code of Practice remain the same. This guidance will be available for 1 October 2009.
The University will not be required to retrain all the existing first aiders as soon as the implementation date is reached. First aiders with a valid first aid at work (FAW) certificate will only enter the new arrangements when their certificate expires and means that it will take three years post implementation before all first aiders are included in the new training structure.
Safety and Environmental Services will provide guidance to Heads of Department and Service Directors on the process for assessing the first aid requirements for their department once the guidance has been made available by HSE later this year. However, it is reasonable to conclude that low risk departments (risk from small cuts and other minor injuries) will require one or more EFAW first aiders whereas a higher risk department (risk of more serious or major injuries, poisoning, burns and scalds) will require one or more FAW first aiders.