In the UK, the responsibility of maintaining first aid boxes lies within the framework of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981. According to this regulation, it is the employer’s duty to ensure that first boxes, and other first-aid equipment, are adequately stocked and available.
Understanding the Employer’s Role
Employers are legally required to conduct a risk assessment to determine the first aid needs of their workplace. This assessment includes deciding the number of first aid kits needed, their contents, and their locations.
The size and type of the business, along with the nature of the work, dictate these requirements. For example, a construction site might need more comprehensive kits compared to a small office.
The Role of Appointed Persons and First Aiders
While the employer is responsible for providing first aid equipment, they often delegate the daily responsibility of checking and restocking the first aid boxes to appointed persons or qualified first aiders within the company. These individuals are trained to take charge during an emergency. Having an appointed person on site at all times is also a legal obligation for UK employers.
The Importance of Regular Checks
Regular checks of first aid boxes are crucial. It is recommended that appointed persons or first aiders conduct these checks on a monthly basis, or more frequently if the workplace environment is high-risk. Expired or used items should be replaced promptly. This routine ensures that the kits are always ready for use.
While not directly responsible, employees should be encouraged to notify the designated first aider or appointed person if they notice supplies are low or if they use items from the first aid box. This collaborative approach helps in maintaining the readiness of first aid supplies.
Furthermore, all employees should be made aware of where the first-aid boxes are located so that they can access them promptly in the case of an incident.
If your business does not have appointed persons that are trained in first-aid, you can simply appoint some staff and allow them 2 hours to complete an accredited first aid course online by clicking here.