As an employer, you have a legal obligation to provide workers with first aid equipment that they can access at any time, but what about a first aid room? Do all workplaces need one? Here we’ll share everything you need to know about first aid in the workforce and whether you need to have a first aid room at your business.
To determine whether your workplace is required to have a first aid room or not, an in-depth risk assessment should be done. It will depend on several factors, some of these include:
- How big the workplace is.
- The type of work the workplace does.
- Whether it is close to medical assistance or not.
- A higher number of hazards within the workplace.
Once a thorough assessment has been conducted, the employer can organise appropriate first aid for the workplace.
Employers can refer to the First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2021 to understand what their responsibilities and first aid obligations are. This provides information on everything you need to know about first aid kits, facilities, equipment, and the number of people who should have first aid training.
First aid officers
Your workplace may need to have designated first aid officers depending on the risk level of the workplace and the number of workers. Here is the following number of first aid officers needed for the following workplaces:
- One first aid officer for 10 – 50 workers.
- Two first aid officers for 51 – 100 workers.
- One extra first aid officer for every additional 100 workers.
- One first aid officer for up to 25 workers
- Two first aid officers for 26 – 50 workers
- One extra first aid officer for every additional 50 workers
For workplaces without emergency personnel nearby, for example, isolated locations, the workplace must have one first aid officer for every ten employees.
For workplaces that are considered low risk and have fewer than 10 employees, the employer must have a standard first aid kit in the workplace and it must be accessible to all employees.
First aid kits
- One kit required for 10 – 50 workers.
- For every additional 50 workers, one extra kit is required, up to 200 workers.
- After 200 one extra kit is needed for every 100 workers
- One kit for 25 or fewer workers
- Two kits for up to 50 workers
- One extra kit per additional 50 employees
First aid kits should never be locked, and they should be marked with a white cross on a green background. The words ‘first aid kit’ should be clear and easy to read on the kit. It’s important the kit adequately protects the contents inside from dust and contamination.
First aid kit
Here is what a basic first aid should contain, keeping in mind that the contents can vary significantly depending on your workplaces first aid requirements:
- Dressings in various sizes
- Bandages, both stretch and non-stretch
- Disposable gloves
- Medical-grade scissors
- Medical-grade tweezers
- Sterile saline solution
- Disposable CPR mask
- Notebook and pen
- Antibacterial solution
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Safety pins
- Eye pads
- Instant cold packs
- Plastic bags
The first aid items should be restocked as soon as possible after use, and the expiry dates should be checked often and replaced if necessary.
First aid rooms
To comply with the Code, there should be a first aid room in the following:
- Low-risk workplaces that have more than 200 workers.
- High-risk workplaces that have more than 100 workers.
What a first aid room should look like
A first aid room needs to have enough space to store everything properly without cluttering it. It should have ample light and ventilation and should be accessible to those in a wheelchair. Here are some items that should be in a first aid room:
- First aid kit suited to the workplace
- Emergency telephone number signage
- First aid procedures signage
- CPR signage
- A stretcher
- Blanket and pillows
- Telephone and desk
- Sharps disposal
Your workplace may need specialised equipment and training. A first aid room should never be used for anything other than first aid, and a first aid officer should ensure that they manage the room, the equipment, and supplies.
A workplace that is equipped with necessary first aid equipment and supplies is the first step to promoting better health outcomes for their workers. Having to administer first aid can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea how to use the items correctly. By taking a first aid and CPR course, you can better prepare yourself for when emergencies happen and help those in their time of need. If you have always wanted to do a first aid course but have put it off, now is the time. Here at Paradise First Aid, we offer a huge selection of courses that can not only further your education but can potentially help you save a life one day. Contact our friendly team today for more information!
DISCLAIMER – This is a guide only and should not be relied upon when implementing appropriate first aid in your workplace. Always refer to the first aid in the workplace Code of Practice 2021 to ensure your place of business complies with the code. You can find more information on this topic here at the Worksafe website: