First aid at work

HSENI is responsible for the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982.

Introduction

HSENI's responsibilities include:

  • reviewing and maintaining the regulations
  • reviewing guidance
  • enforcing the regulations
  • responding to requests for information and advice

First Aid at Work regulatory changes take effect

As of 31 October 2017 First Aid Regulations will change, removing the requirement for HSENI to approve first aid at work training and qualifications. Legislative change will take effect at midnight on 30 October 2017 and HSENI approval of first aid at work training and qualifications will cease. Guidance is available to help duty holders with the changes.

Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982 have been amended to remove the requirement for HSENI to approve first aid at work training and qualifications. These new arrangements bring HSENI into line with procedures implemented by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in Great Britain.

Removing the HSENI approval process gives businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers and first aid at work training that is right for their workplace, based on their needs assessment and their individual business needs.

Employers still have a legal duty to make arrangements to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.

HSENI will continue to set the standards for training. While the changes give employers flexibility, the one day Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and three day First Aid at Work (FAW) courses remain the building blocks for first aid at work training.

As part of these changes, the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) has been replaced by HSE's guidance. The advice in the guidance sets out clearly the recommended practical actions needed, and the standards to be achieved, to ensure compliance with duties under the HSENI 1982 Regulations as amended in 2017.

Certificate of Approval for HSENI First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) training providers

For all existing HSENI approved first aid training providers, irrespective of individual expiry dates on their approval certificate, their approval to undertake first aid at work training will expire at midnight will expire at midnight on 30 October 2017 and approval certificates will no longer be valid. 'HSENI approval' should no longer be cited on training provider's websites or documents.

First Aid at Work training providers

An employer will still need to make an assessment of their first aid needs to establish what provision for first aid is required. This will depend upon the workplace, taking into account, among other things, the number of employees, size, location and work activity.

HSENI is adopting HSE's guidance which is available on the HSE first aid webpages and can be accessed using the following link:

This guidance helps employers identify and select competent training providers and makes it clear that first aid at work training is available from a wide range of providers who choose to:

  • offer regulated qualifications; or
  • operate under voluntary accreditation schemes (including trade/industry bodies); or
  • operate independently of any such accreditation scheme

The changes are particularly advantageous where individual or specialist training may be required due to the work activity, for example in the outdoor education industry, where employers will be able to choose the most appropriate specialist provider to meet their identified training needs - and potentially avoid duplication in training.

All training providers will need to be able, and should be prepared, to demonstrate how they satisfy the criteria set by HSENI. Clarity in this area will be beneficial to both employers and first aid at work training providers.

Offshore first-aid at work

Lists of approved training organisations covering offshore first aid and offshore medic courses (in addition to FAW/EFAW) are available on the HSE (GB) website at the following link:

UK resuscitation guidance 2015

The following link provides information on important changes from the Resuscitation Council:

HSENI First Aid at Work deregulation

The following link provides answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the deregulation of first-aid in Northern Ireland.

Resources

Information and guidance can also be found on the HSE website at the following link:

More information

If you have any queries please contact HSENI EMAS at the following email address:

Key legislation

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982 as amended.