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How to ensure adequate first aid cover during the outbreak

first aid cover

Whilst many employees are now working from home, remote working simply is not possible for some roles or industries. Employers are still responsible for ensuring adequate first aid cover for employees in the work place. However, with some workers in self isolation or at home unwell, you may find your usual first aid cover is somewhat diminished. There are actions you can take to ensure you are still legally compliant.

Reduced number of First Aiders

If you have fewer First Aiders in the work place it may be possible to reduce the number you require. How many First Aiders you require is determined by a number of factors including; business type, size and nature of your work. If some of your employees are now home working you may be able to reduce the number of First Aiders you require. You can also assess your high risk work activities and, if possible, minimising these activities may also reduce the number required.

Consider shared First Aiders

The HSE state that sharing First Aiders is another possible route to ensure adequate cover. There are some key criteria for this to be a suitable solution, the shared First Aiders must:

  • be aware of your first aid facilities
  • understand your work environment and activities
  • be able to attend your workplace promptly if needed
  • not adversely affect cover in their own workplace

Qualification extensions

First Aiders should always pay close attention to the date their current certificate expires and plan training and re-qualification in plenty of time. However, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic the HSE has confirmed that a first aid certificate which expires on or after 16 March 2020 may qualify for a 3 month extension. The extension applies to the following types of certificate:

  • Offshore Medic (OM)
  • Offshore First Aid (OFA)
  • First Aid at Work (FAW)
  • Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)

You must be able to explain why a First Aider has been unable to requalify and evidence the steps you have taken to try and access training.

Consider online training

With face-to-face first aid training hard to access at present, looking online may be an effective solution. Our online training Emergency First Aid Annual Refresher course is accredited by the IIRSM. If you are unsure which qualification you require please do get in touch

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