First Aid Training during lockdown
A guide to businesses booking a first aid course during lockdown
This is a short guide to help our customers when booking a first aid training course during lockdown or when operating in an area with higher tier restrictions. We hope you find it useful.
Can first aid training continue?
Following the latest guidance from our Awarding Organisations in consultation with the HSE, it is felt that first aid training can continue to ‘service demand from employers’. So if an organisation must stay open to provide an essential public service they will still require first aiders to keep staff & customers safe and meet their statutory requirements for health & safety in the workplace.
Do we need to provide first aid cover?
First aid training is part of the statutory regulations governing employment law. According to the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 employers must provide “adequate and appropriate” equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
Organisations should asses what type of first aid cover they require by considering the workplace hazards and risks, the size of their organisation and other relevant factors such as the geography of the site, how far away the site is from the emergency services, staff absence, shift patterns etc. The HSE provide an excellent guide for carrying out a first aid needs assessment.
How to decide if you need to arrange a first aid course
The best approach is to create a training course risk-assessment. To help organisations with this process we have suggested four questions you should consider before starting your risk-assessment.
1. Is this training essential?
If you are a business that must stay open during lockdown then you still have a duty to keep your staff and customers safe. You should review your first aid needs assessment and decide if you have sufficient first aid cover needed to keep workers safe whilst carrying out their usual work activities.
If fewer people are coming into your workplace it may still be safe to operate with reduced first aid cover. You could also cease higher-risk activities where more first aid cover may be required.
However you may have less first aiders available due to factors brought on by the pandemic such as sickness, absence, shielding, furlough and more staff working from home.
2. CAN THE TRAINING BE POSTPONED?
It may be that you have the necessary first aid cover in place already and any further training may not be necessary at this time. Therefore postponing the first aid training would be more appropriate and safer.
It is also worth noting that the HSE and DfE have extended first aid requalifcation training until 31st March 2021. So if an employee is renewing their qualification they can delay their training provided some key factors are considered first. The HSE have created this guide for First aid during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic >>.
3. Can we share first aid cover with another business?
It may be possible to share the first aiders of another business, as long as they have the knowledge, experience and availability to cover the first aid needs of your business. Shared first aiders must:
- Be aware of the type of injuries or illnesses that you identified in your first aid needs assessment.
- Have the training and skills appropriate to assess and teat these injuries & illnesses.
- Be knowledgeable about your work environment and its first aid facilities.
- Be able to get to your workplace in good time if summoned.
Of course, whoever provides the temporary first aid cover must also make sure they do not adversely affect their own first aid cover.
4. Can I provide a COVID-Safe training environment?
First aid training is no different to any other work activity and must meet all COVID-Safe standards. Even if your workplace is safe for carrying out normal work activities it still may not be appropriate to hold first aid training at your premises. We have created this checklist for organisations when considering how to ensure a COVID-Safe training environment >>.
Every workplace and setting is different so when deciding whether first aid training can take place only you can make this decision having carefully considered all the factors. Judging the risk of an employee sustaining an injury & the likelihood of this happening verses the risk of infection from COVID-19 is all part of the decision making process.
We are more than happy to talk this through so feel free to contact us to discuss your training course further and we hope this article has helped.