Changes to The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
Sunday, 05 July 2015 00:00

First Aid 1It has been recommended by Professor Löfstedt that the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 should be amended to remove the requirement for Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first aid personnel. It has been suggested that the current HSE approval process goes beyond the minimum requirement laid out in EU legislation. (Source:

What do Employers have to do at present?

Employers have an obligation under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 and Approved Code of Practice (ACOP L74) to make adequate and appropriate first aid provision for their workforce.

For an employee to be classed as a trained first aider, they must have undertaken a course approved by the HSE, and any necessary refresher training. Where there are specific hazards, which are outside of the normal approved syllabus, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that necessary additional training and facilities are available.

First Aid 3What does this mean for you?

As an employer (since October 2013) will have greater flexibility to choose a training provider and first aid training that is right for your workplace and based on your individual business needs, however the provider will be required to meet a certain standard, set by HSE.

You will need to ensure that the trainers are competent, do they have the qualifications expected? Do they have the correct syllabus content? etc. A check list can be found here:

Employers are reminded that 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 from an Ofqual accredited awarding organisation supported by HSE to deliver such training (these are listed on the HSE first aid web pages).

Similarly, the current edition of L74, 'First Aid at Work' (Approved Code of Practice and Guidance) will remain valid and in force until new legislation and associated guidance takes effect.

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