Home News HSE publishes guidance over first aid regulations changes

HSE publishes guidance over first aid regulations changes

by Brian Sims

A recent review, commissioned by the Government, recommended that The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 should be amended to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel. Professor Löfstedt, chair of the review panel, made the recommendation as it was claimed the current HSE approval process went beyond the minimum requirement laid out in EU legislation. Removing the approval process should give businesses greater flexibility to choose a training provider – and training – that is right for their workplace, and based on individual business needs. The provider will be required to meet a certain standard, set by HSE. The legal requirement for employers to ensure they have an adequate number of suitably trained first aiders (or appointed persons) in accordance with their first aid needs assessment will remain unchanged. Following public consultation, HSE is working towards implementing the necessary changes, subject to HSE Board and Parliamentary approval. The anticipated changes to the Regulations are expected in October 2013. HSE has used the responses to the recent consultation exercise to shape two draft guidance documents that reflect the proposed changes in the regulations and the arrangements necessary to put adequate first aid provision in place. The documents will help businesses to make an assessment of the first aid requirements within their specific workplace and to put the necessary provisions and competent personnel in place, as well as aiding with the selection of an appropriate first aid training provider to deliver their training requirements within the new system. Businesses are not required to take any action until the new regulations come into force. Until the necessary legislative changes take effect, the existing law continues to apply – all first aid training for the purposes of first aid at work provision must be carried out by an HSE approved training provider or a training centre for an Ofqual accredited awarding organisation supported by HSE to deliver such training.

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