What is the minimum first-aid provision required for a worksite?

Under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981/917), employers must provide such first aid equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances. What is adequate and appropriate will depend on factors including the nature of the hazards and risks involved in the type of work, the size of the organisation and the location of the workplace. Employers should carry out a needs assessment to determine what level of first-aid provision they should put in place.

As a minimum, the employer must appoint a person to take charge of first-aid arrangements. This will include taking charge of first-aid equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services if required. However, such provision will not be "adequate and appropriate" for all workplaces. Depending on the nature of the workplace, it may be that trained first aiders are required, who can carry out first aid themselves if an employee is injured or ill. Where the employer does appoint first aiders, it must ensure that they have undergone such training and have such qualifications as may be appropriate in the circumstances.

In its guidance on the Regulations, the Health and Safety Executive states that the minimum provision for first-aid equipment for a worksite is a suitably stocked and properly identified first-aid container.

The Regulations require employers to provide information for employees about the arrangements that are in place for the provision of first-aid, including the location of equipment, facilities and personnel.