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Provision of First Aiders

Do I need a qualified first aider in my workplace?

A risk assessment in the context of the Safety Statement should consider the numbers employed, the nature of the work, the degree of hazard, the level of accidents arising, the size and location of the workplace, the distribution of the employees, shift working, availability of an occupational health service with the workplace and the distance and duration from external medical services etc.


How many first aiders should be present in a workplace?

The table below gives an indicative number of first aiders required for different types of workplaces.


Type of Workplace Maximum No. of
at any one time
No. of Occupational
First Aiders
Factories, Construction Sites, Surface Mines and Quarries up to 49 1 if safety statement risk assessment shows it necessary
50-149 Minimum 1
150-299 Minimum 2
> 300 1 extra for every 150 employees or
part thereof
Underground Mines   1 for every 10 employees
or part thereof
Other workplaces up to 99 1 if safety statement risk assessment shows it necessary
100-399 1
400-699 2
  more than 700 1 extra for every 300 employees or part thereof.


If the designated occupational first aider is absent from the place of work, what must the employer do?

If the occupational first aider is absent in temporary or exceptional circumstances, the employer may designate a person, to take charge of an injured or ill person until medical assistance is obtained. Such person’s functions, if they have not received training in basic life saving skills, would, primarily be to seek appropriate assistance as soon as possible and to ensure that nothing further is allowed to occur which would exacerbate the problems of the injurp person.

Foreseeable absences such as planned annual leave are not considered “temporary or exceptional circumstances” In these situations the employer must ensure that there is an adequate number of trained occupational first aiders to cover the foreseeable absences or leave, if the need for an occupational first aider in the workplace has been identified.


How is a first aider contacted?

There must be effective means of communication to contact the first aider when required, which will include a telephone/ mobile phone/ pager/ radio.


How are the emergency services contacted?

The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the local emergency services must be clearly displayed in the workplace. Emergency plans and procedures must be in place and people designated and trained to implement them. It must be clear who makes contact with the emergency services.


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