Updated Documents – Health and Safety Executive Guidance!

Feb 14, 2024

The HSE have recently updated guidance to the following documents:

First aid at work: The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981. Guidance on Regulations L74 (hse.gov.uk)

Selecting a first-aid training provider – A guide for employers – GEIS3 (hse.gov.uk)

Please find below the main areas to the updates, but it is also recommended to read through both of the documents, towards meeting your own company obligations.

Mental Ill Health

One of the major changes is that the HSE now places emphasis on employers towards considering employees mental health as part of your company’s first aid risk assessment needs.

The HSE states:

It may also be helpful to have people trained to identify and understand mental ill health symptoms who are able to support someone who is experiencing a mental health issue. You may decide that someone with an FAW or EFAW qualification is already able to provide initial support and reassurance to a worker experiencing an acute mental health episode, but you should consider if any further training is required.

You should be satisfied that they:

  • Know how to access professional help if necessary
  • Can act promptly, safely and effectively until that help is available
Life-Threatening Bleeding now replaces Catastrophic Bleeding

The HSE now refers catastrophic bleeding as ‘life-changing bleeding’ where guidance for employers has been added on what is required if this is identified as a risk within your workplace.

Training may be necessary on this area in sectors such as agriculture, forestry, construction as well as working locations in remote areas. It also states that employers of people working in hospitality, events or other relevant sectors should consider additional training to prepare for such injuries.

The HSE also include within their guidance regarding first aid kit contents relating to life threatening bleeding. They ask employers to consider whether haemostatic dressings, tourniquets and wound packing materials would now be required in addition to the standard first aid kit within the workplace.

Selecting a First Aid Training Provider – A Guide to Employers

There are minimal changes to this document however has been simplified to make it easier to understand. As a reminder please see some points below:

As an employer, you have a number of options available to you when selecting a first-aid training provider. HSE does not advocate, promote or support any particular option. You should select the most suitable option for your requirements.

However, to comply with your legal duties under the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 that
choice must be appropriate and adequate, based on a needs assessment and appropriate due diligence
(reasonable investigation) being conducted.

E-Learning Component Guidance Reminder

Some training providers offer training that is a mix of e-learning and face to face. This is known as blended learning and is an accepted means by which workplace first-aid training can be delivered. It is important that you conduct the necessary additional checks (due diligence) to decide if this method is suitable. This means you should make sure you are satisfied that:

■ the individual being trained knows how to use the technology that delivers the training;

■ the training provider has an adequate means of supporting the individual during their training;

■ the training provider has a robust system in place to prevent identity fraud;

■ sufficient time is allocated to classroom-based learning and assessment of the practical elements of the syllabus. HSE strongly recommends that practical elements of the course should be assessed by direct observation, to ensure the competence of candidates;

■ the provider has an appropriate means of assessing the e-learning component of the training.

Employers should also ensure they are complying with regulation 13 of the Health and Safety Management Regulations 1999, which has a requirement to ensure adequate time is set aside during the working day to undertake any first-aid training employees receive.

Where your first-aid needs assessment identifies, or where you choose to use qualifications other than FAW or EFAW to demonstrate workplace first-aid competence, you should ensure that common elements of the syllabus are taught in accordance with the same guidelines.

Do You Need Support with your Training Requirements?

Should you need any support with your training requirements whether it be first aid or mental health related, please contact us on 01543 398370 or by email – training@jpffirstaid.co.uk.