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Health and Safety

First aid

In the first instance, if someone is injured or ill at work, it doesn't matter whose fault it is - what is important is that employers have made arrangements to ensure the affected person receives immediate attention. The initial management of injuries and illness, until expert medical attention is received, could be the difference between life and death.

First aiders are trained and certificated workers capable of administering first aid to injured or ill workers. They can only be trained by HSE approved organisations and employers and the certificates issued are only valid for three years. First aid arrangements at work should be reviewed regularly to identify problems and any scope for improvements.
After an incident injuries may sometimes not be recorded in the accident book because of confusion, negligence or even malfeasance. This could give a false picture of accident rates that may conceal faults in working practices. The first aider should ensure all incidents are recorded properly.

From 31 December 2003 employers have been required to ensure their accident recording system complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). To comply with the DPA, personal details entered into the accident book must be kept confidential. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has redesigned the Accident Book (BI 510) so that individual record sheets can be removed and stored securely, leaving a stub in the Book to indicate that the accident has been recorded.

Unions are concerned that some employers who have already tried to restrict access to injury/ill-health and accident information will further restrict access using DPA compliance as an excuse.

However after pressure from the TUC HSE has agreed to issue a new accident book that includes guidance on how safety reps might be allowed access to accident records.


HSE firstaid

Employers' duties on first aid

The most recent documents available on this subject are:

Relief as Royal Mail stops first aid folly
Royal Mail has confirmed it has abandoned plans to outsource all workplace first aid training.
PDF version available for download
10 March 2006

Postie delivers lifesaving treatment
A Luton postie and trained first aider has saved the life of a member of the public.
PDF version available for download
8 April 2005

London seeks to lead Britain in the challenge to secure better health and safety at work
A world class city must have world class workplaces, that means aspiring to and achieving world class standards of health and safety at work – not for some, but for all. And the roadmap for turning that dream into a reality includes there being a health and safety rep in every workplace in London and a positive and meaningful partnership between that rep, the employer, unions and the Health and Safety Executive. Those are the key messages from an event (today) organised by HSE London and the Southern and Eastern Region TUC for more than 200 London based health and safety reps.
19 November 2004

Back to Health and Safety.

Northern TUC / HSE Training Day

Related reps and officer training courses from unionlearn.