As a business owner you will most likely know the legal requirements for first aid, health and safety and HR policies.

However, what about businesses who want to more than just tick a box?

No matter if your employees are at work, watching a child’s football game, in the supermarket, or driving down a road, First Aid might be needed at any time.

In this article we look at some of the questions about first aid regulations that you may have.

What does the law say about first aid?

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, states an employer is required to provide suitable First Aid provisions (equipment, facilities and people) so their employees can get help if taken ill or get injured at work.

However, what is ‘suitable’ is up for the employer to decide.

The law states the employer can undertake a risk assessment and look at the situation to decide what is needed for that business.

We know from delivering first aid training it is only when you start thinking and brainstorming the risks in your business that you come to really appreciate that there is more to worry about than paper cuts in an office.

For example, do you know the answer to the following questions:

  • Does anyone have asthma?
  • Does anyone have angenia
  • Is anyone at risk of a heart attack
  • Have you got stairs or trip hazards
  • Does anyone have epilepsy?
  • Does anyone have allergies?

All of the above could mean that you or one of your team may need to administor first aid.

Some stats you may want to know

In some countries, every school child has First Aid lessons every year.

The survival rate of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, is currently around 7.8% in the UK (resus.org.uk, 2024). But with prompt and confident CPR and defibrillator (defib) use, we can increase this number.

Only one in ten people in cardiac arrest had a defib attached and used on them by members of the public (resus.org.uk, 2024). Defibs have been shown to be effective at stopping and restarting the heart in a better rhythm. And the earlier used, the better the outcome.

What is a first aider?

A First Aider is someone who has completed an Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) course, a First Aid at Work (FAW) course or another First Aid course that is relevant to their profession.

How many first aiders do you need in your business?

Sometimes, it may be deemed that only an appointed person is required. This means they are not a First Aider, they are just in charge of keeping the First Aid box up to date and calling 999 if required.

But a First Aid emergency can happen anywhere, and at any time, so why leave it to someone who has no First Aid qualifications?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states the minimum requirement is:

  • Low-risk workplaces – one first aider for every 50 workers
  • High-risk workplaces – one first aider for every 25 workers

We work with business who want to do more than just be compliant and so they ensure they have buffers and during holiday periods, or when staff leave so that they feel confident their team would have the best response in an emergency.

What First Aid provision there should be in the workplace

The HSE provides suggestions as to what First Aid provision there should be in the workplace.

If you have employees that are older, have medical conditions such as asthma, epilepsy or allergies, it important to be able to recognise the symptoms and know what to do before the situation arises and they need help.

What criteria you should look for in a First Aid qualification?

You should look to have more than a certificate on the wall. We have all sat through training that is dull but we know has so much potential to be engaging.

When you are looking for a first aid training supplier, find out how interactive their training is, will it challenge participants to identify the risks in your business, will it keep them engaged for three days?

The more realistic and hands-on first aid training is, the more muscle memory will click in. At Momentum People we have manikins to simulate chocking, defibrillators to show the process and take away anxieties about using them under pressure, full size manikins to practice chest compressions on that signal if you have applied enough pressure – which is alot.

You may also want to check if the first aid training course has a CPD accreditation to ensure the work has been checked and it meets a high standard.


How often do you need to refresh first aid at work training?

Once trained participants will need to redo the courses in full every three years, but it is strongly recommended that everyone undertakes annual refresher training.

What to do next?

Hopefully now, the maze of First Aid regulations is a little bit clearer.

If you have any questions, want to know more, or want to book onto one of our courses, either at your workplace or an open course at our offices, get in touch with the team or check out our upcoming course.

It is our mission to get everyone happy, confident, and knowledgeable enough to give First Aid.


Watch our first aid training in action