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What is First Aid at Work?

First Aid at Work is, quite simply, a first aid course that is specific to work-related injuries, and is key to workplaces that have a higher frequency of workplace accidents like manufacturing, construction, and warehouses. It consists of comprehensive training that will teach you how to respond effectively in an emergency or in less serious injuries. First Aid at Work courses will cover a wide variety of first aid material, like what to do if someone is choking, and how to treat simple wounds (plus much more). The courses also emphasize healthcare best practices like the need to record health incidents and the importance of preventing cross-infection. These courses are absolutely crucial to creating a safe office environment so that if an emergency arises, you are prepared to handle it. 

Who should take a First Aid at Work course?

Employers should send employees who would be strong first aiders at their companies. These people need not have previous first aid experience, but they should have strong communication skills, the ability to thrive in stressful situations, the ability to learn new information efficiently, and people who could do well in a physically-demanding situation. The number of first aiders you have in the company depends on how large the company is and how likely it is to have an accident. All businesses should have at least one first aider, and depending on the size of your company, you might need one for every 50 or 100 employees.

What will I learn in a First Aid at Work course?

Courses are broken up into two categories: First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work. The difference between the two is the Emergency courses are typically for workplaces that have low risk for accidents, like an office job. First Aid at Work is more for workplaces where injuries and accidents may be more prone to occur. First Aid at Work courses tend to be longer and require more hours to complete than Emergency First Aid at Work courses. HSE requires First Aid at Work to comprise of 18 hours of training. These courses are typically split over three days of training, either all together or taken over a period of three weeks. Emergency First Aid at Work are typically six hours of training. 

First Aid at Work courses typically cover the following crucial skills:

  • Assessing the situation and injury
  • Providing first aid for muscle, bone, and joint injuries
  • Providing first aid for eye and chest injuries
  • Providing first aid for anaphylactic shock
  • Providing first aid for poisoning and burns
  • Recognizing signs of major illnesses like heart attacks and stroke)
  • Administering CPR to an adult
  • Providing first aid to an unconscious adult
  • Providing first aid to someone who is choking, bleeding, or in shock
  • Understanding the importance of avoiding cross-infection
  • Understanding how to use available equipment

After you successfully take a course, you will typically receive a certificate saying you can administer first aid at work. These certificates are valid for usually three years, though you may want to take a refresher course annually.

Related training areas

If you’re interested in First Aid at Work courses, you might also be interested in other training areas that are about health and safety at work. Check out courses from these other areas:

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