Let's play doctors and nurses - it's a life skill

11 July, 2008

Q A member of staff recently suffered a nasty cut to her arm on some broken glass and nobody

knew what to do. Should we have a first aid kit on the premises by law - and if so, how can we get advice on how to tend to minor injuries?

A By law you need a qualified first aider in your team, and because you probably operate a shift system, it would be advisable to have more than one. Learning first aid can be quick, simple and even fun - it's not just a legal matter, it's a life skill.

The Health & Safety Executive will prosecute business owners who operate companies with a significant risk of injury and which do not comply with the first aid regulation. Your broken glass incident

demonstrates that there are risks: and as well as bottles, we imagine your shop also has ladders, floors which are sometimes wet, box knives, hot water, heavy objects of various descriptions ... the list goes on.

Training company CPL, which runs first aid courses, says: "The minimum legal requirement is to train and appoint competent personnel who will take charge of first aid arrangements. This includes looking after the equipment and facilities and calling emergency services when required. Arrangements must be made for a qualified first aider to be available for these duties at all times covering for illness and annual leave."

It is not a legal requirement for you to be equipped to administer first aid to a customer, though the HSE advises

such scenarios are taken into account when training staff.

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