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HSE publishes first aid guidance
Published:  03 September, 2013

A month ahead of changes to first aid regulations, the Health & Safety Executive has published guidance to help businesses put in place appropriate arrangements for the provision of first aid.

From 1 October, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 will be amended, to remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training and qualifications.

The changes aim to make it easier for businesses and other users to understand how to comply with health and safety law, whilst maintaining standards. They apply to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors.

"We have taken onboard comments and suggestions we have received through our public consultations on the changes and from extended stakeholder discussions and business input to ensure the guidance provides everything an employer will need to manage their first aid requirements,” said Andy McGrory, HSE's policy lead for first aid.

“The guidance documents clarify what the law requires and provide practical help to businesses in assessing and understanding their first aid needs. Where a first aider is required, the guidance documents make it clear that the employer is free to select a training provider who is best suited to those needs.”

Advance copies of 'The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981', 'Regulations and Guidance (L74)' and 'Selecting a first-aid training provider (GEIS3)' are now available on the HSE website.

L74 is aimed at all industries and takes account of the amendment to regulation 3(2), which removes the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel, and incorporates some additional amendments brought about by other previous legislative changes.

GEIS3 will help employers identify and select a competent training provider to deliver any first-aid training indicated by their first-aid needs assessment. The guidance on selecting a training provider outlines the options available to employers and includes a checklist for evaluating first aid training organisations, covering trainer competence, quality assurance systems and syllabus content

Public consultation, extended stakeholder discussions and input from businesses of all sizes demonstrated general support for the proposed guidance and legislative changes have been approved by the HSE Board and Parliament.