Given that every workplace situation is different, it is up to HR to determine the acceptable ratio of first aid officers to employees, and they should consider a number of criteria in the risk assessment phase.
The relevant workplace health and safety legislation prescribes that employers must provide, so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe working environment and adequate facilities for the welfare of their employees. On the question of how many trained first aid staff to have on site, HR must measure the risks against the specific needs of an individual workplace.
According to a Red Cross work safe guide, the first step may be to assess the likelihood that your workplace will require the assistance of a first aid officer. As a guide only, the Red Cross states:
In low-risk workplaces (eg office):
- one first aid officer for 10 to 50 employees
- two first aid officers for 51 to 100 employees
- an additional first aid officer for every additional 100 employees.
In higher-risk workplaces (eg factory):
- one first aid officer for up to 25 employees
- two first aid officers for 26 to 50 employees
- an additional first aid officer for every additional 50 employees
The St John Ambulance service states that the most popular course undertaken for workplace purposes is the Apply First Aid certificate, and notably this was formerly known as Senior First Aid. The certificate can be achieved after undertaking 16 hours of workshop training and is valid for three years. After that, recertification can then be gained by a further 8 hours of workshop training. The price for a standard 2-day Apply First Aid course is $190, and a 1-day recertification course costs $160.
Employees must be given information and instructions on first aid in the workplace, including:
the location of first aid kits
the names and work location of trained first aid officers
procedures to be followed when first aid or further assistance is required
if there is a change in the location of first aid facilities (eg first aid room)
if there are any changes in the names, locations or contact details of first aid officers
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