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  • Writer's pictureDorset Health and Safety

Update to Publications on First Aid

Update to First Aid at Work Regulation now includes emphasising employers’ responsibilities to take account of employees’ mental health in their first aid needs assessment.

Mental ill health and first aid

Following your employers' first aid needs assessment; you might decide that it will be beneficial to have personnel trained to identify and understand symptoms and able to support someone who might be experiencing a mental health issue.

You should consider ways to manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business, such as providing information or training for managers and employees, employing occupational health professionals, appointing mental health trained first aiders and implementing employee support programmes.

If you have determined that first aiders trained in either Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) or First Aid at Work (FAW) are appropriate for your workplace, you might decide that their training and skills already enable them to provide initial support and reassurance to an employee experiencing an acute mental health episode. You should be satisfied that they know how to access professional help if necessary and can act promptly, safely and effectively until that help is available. You should consider if any further training is required.

First aid training courses that provide additional training in mental health, teach delegates how to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and help them to develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone, while keeping themselves safe.

There is a wide range of training providers offering mental health awareness or first aid training and details of available training that best meets the needs of your organisation can be found by conducting a simple internet search.

It is important that anyone with first aid responsibilities in your workplace is clear what their role is and that this is effectively communicated to all relevant workers and managers.

You do not need to record the findings of your needs assessment, but you may find it useful to do so, as it will demonstrate how you have decided on the first-aid provision that you make.

The minimum requirement in terms of personnel is to appoint a person to take charge of first-aid arrangements. The roles of this appointed person include looking after the first-aid equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services when required. The appointed person can also provide emergency cover, within their role and competence, where a first-aider is absent due to unforeseen circumstances. An appointed person is not required to have any formal training.

If your workplace has more significant health and safety risks, for example you use machinery or hazardous materials then you are more likely to need a trained first-aider.

There are no hard and fast rules on exact numbers, and you will need to take into account all the relevant circumstances of your particular workplace.

To book a place on our Mental health First Aid course or for more information:

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