If you are an employer in Ireland, you are required by law to comply with various health and safety measures to ensure the wellbeing of your staff and customers. A key feature is that you must have a minimum number of qualified first aiders amongst your workforce, to deal with any issues or accidents as they arise. However, the detail of what must be provided varies according to the type of workplace, the number of employees, and the outcomes of a risk assessment. The requirements have been set out by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), in their Guidelines on First Aid at Places of Work document, which is part of the Guide to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations. At ASM, we can help you navigate the complexities of health and safety legislation, and help you provide a happy, healthy workplace for all. Here is our guide to first aiders in the workplace in Ireland.
The first step when establishing your requirements for first aiders in the workplace should be conducting a thorough risk assessment. You will need to consider the number of people employed, and the number of people on site at any one time; the nature of the work; the degree of danger involved; the current level of accidents; the size and location of the workplace and how close you are to medical facilities. For most types of workplace, where there are less than 99 employees, the official requirement is simply for there to be 1 qualified first aider, if the risk assessment shows it to be necessary. However, workplace accidents are a common occurrence and if you have only one qualified first aider it will be impossible to ensure they are on site at all times. Employers should therefore consider one qualified first aider as a bare minimum. To provide a comfortable level of health and safety care to your team and customers, you should ensure that as many staff as possible receive some level of emergency care training.
If you are in charge of a bigger workplace, the requirements become more specific. Between 100 – 399 employees require at least 1 first aider, while between 400-699 require at least two. The largest workplaces – those with over 700 employees – require a further first aider for every 300 extra people. Likewise, the nature of the workplace can affect the number of first aiders needed. The most dangerous environments require much more stringent health and safety provisions, with underground mines needing 1 first aider for every 10 employees. Similarly, there are different guidelines for construction sites, factories, quarries, and surface mines. These all need a minimum of 1 first aider for between 50 – 149 employees, 2 between 150 – 299 employees, and an extra first aider for every 150 people if there are more than 300 employees.
The recognised standard for occupational first aid in workplaces in Ireland is the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) First Aid Response (FAR) training. At ASM Group, we provide PHECC certified FAR training, both for beginners, and as a refresher course. Our dynamic and engaging FAR courses give participants a thorough grounding in coping with accidents and emergencies, from performing CPR to using a defibrillator. FAR training empowers your workforce, giving colleagues confidence, and reassuring them that they work for a company that cares about them. If you are looking for first aid courses in Cork would like to ensure that you provide the safest possible workplace for your team, look into providing First Aid Responder training through ASM today.