Curious... What is a First Aid at Work Course?

Updated: Mar 25



Have you provided a First Aid at Work course for your employees? If not, do you need to? And why does it matter? Here's some vital information to help you make the right decision.


Why provide a first aid at work course?


If someone suffers a medical emergency or gets hurt at work, it can take time to get medical help. Time in such an emergency scenario one cannot afford. Acting accordingly in the very time for an ambulance or medical assistance to arrive is extremely important. Consistently it has shown to make a positive contribution in an emergency first aid situation. In such scenarios, whether it's a serious injury or illness or something less pressing, it would be prudent to have trained personnel who are competent in first aid to help. People who know what to do. People at the very least with basic first aid skills. Fortunately, employees in the UK can attend a First Aid at Work course ultimately playing a significant role in reducing risk and importantly saving lives.


An overview of the 3 day course


First Aid at Work is a course covering accidents and emergencies that could happen in the workplace. If you happen to employ someone with a health condition, it's ever so important. The course is ideal for people aged 16 and over, and covers a broad range of accidents, injuries and illnesses.


As an attendee you'll learn a great deal about various first aid related conditions and how to assist a casualty in an emergency. The list includes people who may be unresponsive and breathing or unresponsive and not breathing. You learn to use an automated external defibrillator (AED or Defib for short) safely and how to manage a choking casualty. If someone is bleeding, burned, suffering from shock or feels faint, you'll know what to do. The same goes if a colleague at work has been poisoned or suffered an injury to their head, has hypothermia or heat exhaustion, suffered a bone, muscle or joint injury, or has been electrocuted.


If someone has a seizure or heart attack, you'll be taught to recognise it. Angina, asthma, strokes, allergic reactions and diabetes are all covered. Attendees also learn about how to assess a casualty, monitor their condition, record and report accidents, and how to control hazardous substances.


You will learn all this through a combination of practical, hands-on approaches in a classroom setting where you will need to demonstrate your newly acquired knowledge, for example; by applying CPR to a manikin. The course guides you through various practical demonstrations, hands on practice, Q&A sessions, quizzes, activities and assessments to be assigned the role of a workplace first aider.


Course materials and support


This is the perfect first aid training for big businesses, high risk sectors like construction, and businesses employing people with health issues. As a delegate you'll be given plenty of support materials, including a well-stocked and very useful training pack containing a workbook, first aid manual, bandages and more. Upon successful completion of the course a nationally recognised First Aid at Work certificate, valid for three years is issued.


The benefits to your company and employees

Being aware of basic first aid can save lives. First aid education at work means your workforce are capable of helping each other, helping visitors to your premises, and helping themselves. When you know how to treat injuries and illnesses, you naturally understand more about how to prevent them as well. Better safety consciousness helps your people work more carefully, avoiding accidents. It's a solid, reliable way to directly make the workplace itself a lot safer.


The HSE requirements around first aid at work courses


The Health and Safety Executive recommends that a low risk workplace such as a small office needs a minimum of a first-aid box plus an appointed person whose role is to handle first-aid provisions. It’s an employer’s legal obligation to provide information about your company's first aid arrangements to all staff. In such a case we recommend you enrol your staff member/s on an Ofqual regulated 1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work course.


Workplaces operating and categorised as high risk according to the workplace risk assessment and with a greater risk or hazard to health and safety, it’s highly advisable first aider/s are trained to handle major illness or medical emergencies at work. You can qualify as a fully competent first aider by successfully completing an Ofqual regulated 3 Day First Aid at Work course.


The difference between First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work


The Emergency First Aid at Work is a one day course that provides learners with the knowledge required to manage an emergency situation. If your workplace risk assessment identifies a need for a person trained in Emergency First Aid at Work, then this is right course for you. The course content meets the requirements outlined in the Health and Safety (First-aid) Regulations 1981 and the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982.


The course teaches attendees how to provide first aid to a casualty that is unresponsive, in shock or who has minor injuries like cuts, grazes and burns, and how and when to place an injured person into the recovery position.


View full course specification HERE


In comparison a First Aid at Work course goes into depth, with the addition of major conditions and is usually delivered over three days or a minimum of 18 contact teaching hours. This qualification is aimed at those looking to undertake the role of a first aider in the workplace, as outlined in the Health and Safety (First-aid) Regulations 1981 and the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982.


View full course specification HERE


The first unit or day one of the course incorporates the Emergency First at Work syllabus and in addition covers major injuries and illness over the final two days. Successful learners will be equipped with essential knowledge and practical skills needed to administer first aid. For example, how to manage a casualty with anaphylaxis or provide first aid to an unresponsive casualty. Tutor demonstration and thorough CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) practice and mastering the Secondary Survey (also known as ‘top to toe survey’) is a valuable addition to this course.



First Aid at Work/Emergency First Aid at Work Comparison Table

Follow the links to learn more about our Ofqual regulated courses in First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work.


Get qualified to give first aid at work


To train your staff, fully competent and certified in first aid to assist and support in an event of an illness or injury, we'll help you do exactly just that.


Feel free to contact us on 020 7112 8543 or opt for a live chat session on our website to speak with a team member. Alternatively, send us a message via the contact us page HERE