Having trained employees who can administer immediate medical relief is paramount to any work environment. Accidents can happen anytime, and having a qualified first-aider in an emergency can make the difference between life and death.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), first aid training must be completed face-to-face. This requires employers to provide in-person training to train their staff in dispensing essential medical care in emergency situations. As part of the training, employers must also ensure adequate medical supplies such as first aid kits are in place in the time of need.

However, with the Coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, organisations continue to struggle in training their workers through face-to-face first aid courses. In this situation, e-learning has presented a viable solution to businesses seeking to provide safe modes of emergency medical training for their employees. 

First Aiders Are More Important than Ever 

Unsurprisingly, non-fatal accidents are common in the many business sectors of the UK’s economy. According to the Labour Force Survey 2019/2020, these incidents accounted for an estimated 6.3 million working days lost. Non-fatal accidents also have financial consequences, costing the economy millions in revenue each year.

This is precisely why businesses need first aid professionals on-site to provide immediate medical attention. Although dispensing timely first aid to an injured person may not prevent financial losses, it can significantly reduce the costs. More importantly, it can save innumerable lives and prevent workers from developing life-long conditions.

What the Law Says About Workplace First Aid

According to the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, employers are legally responsible for placing adequate first aid provisions in their workplace. This includes trained employees, a designated first aid welfare room, and all the necessary medical supplies listed for the kits.

Since work environments can differ significantly, employers are required to conduct first aid risk assessments to determine the level of aid needed in their workplace. The risk assessment takes into account several factors such as the type of work activity, work equipment, power sources, and the magnitude of threats associated with them.

Online first aid risk assessment training courses can teach you how to evaluate the kind of first aid risks and hazards present in your workplace. These are offered by a variety of providers, such as Human Focus. 

Conducting First Aid Needs Assessments

Before deciding on what type of first aid training you should select for your employees, it is vital to conduct a needs assessment for your organisation. The assessment helps you take a holistic approach at your work environment and activities, helping identify the risks and hazards your workforce is exposed to.

This will help determine the type of training and resources you need to ensure the safety of your employees while meeting legal requirements. It can be a combination of both practical and online first aid training to supplement the different needs of your workplace.

What Are the Types of Face-to-Face First Aid Training 

The HSE recognises both Emergency First Aid at Work, and First Aid at Work training as a mandatory part of organisational health and safety. The courses are designed to offer knowledge and practical skills to first aiders based on the level of risks associated with their workplaces.

Emergency First Aid at Work

It is a one-day training and typically covers low-risk environments where the risk assessment only indicates the need for emergency responses. This training offers essential skills needed for handling different forms of emergencies such as shock, bleeding, cardiac arrest, cuts, burns, and broken bones.

First Aid at Work

This is a three-day training comprising of a variety of skills needed for a broad range of environments. The training course is necessary for higher-risk workplaces such as industrial environments where heavy machinery and hazardous energy sources are used for work. The learner will be trained to handle situations involving bone and joint injuries, chest pains, heart attacks, eye injuries, severe bleeding, and spinal injuries.

Can Online Traning Make You a Qualified First-Aider?

Although online first aid training does not replace competency-based, practical training, it still has a place. It provides sufficient awareness on how to deal with medical emergencies and use basic first aid skills in potentially life-threatening situations.

The HSE has recognised the value of online first aid training and stated that online training is vital for keeping first aid skills up to date. This is particularly relevant due to the recent Coronavirus pandemic and its complexities regarding access to in-person training.

Therefore, providing online first aid training is necessary for educating and building confidence within your employees. It helps your workers in refreshing their practical skills with updated information. 

According to HSE, it is recommended for first-aiders to take refresher training during the three-year certification period.

Who Should Take Online First Aid Training?

Online First Aid courses are most suitable for organisations who need awareness or wish to refresh their already acquired skills. Since all basic first aid techniques are integrated into this training, no preliminary qualifications are required to take this course.

There are many providers offering online first aid training courses available on the web. An example of one is Basic First Aid at Work, offered by Human Focus. This training is suitable for low-risk environments such as shops, offices, and restaurants where a highly qualified first aid provider may not be required. It is an essential module for duty holders who need to educate their workforce in first aid knowledge, emergency responses, and the types of injuries a worker can sustain.

Author – Joe Yoshya Vickers


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