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London, UK, 13 February 2017

Changes to first aid legislation

Changes to first aid legislation
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There has been considerable change to first aid legislation over the past year including resuscitation, workplace first aid training and medic dispensation guideline changes. Here we summarise the key changes that leaders within professional firms will need to be aware of.

Update to workplace first aid training guidance

Following a review, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has ruled in favour of providing some parts of workplace first aid training via online distance learning. The guidance currently offered by the HSE will be updated to reflect this, and indicate which parts must still be classroom based (for example, where candidates are required “to administer first aid”). Your practice should make relevant clients aware of the HSE guidance GEIS3 on the requirements that need to be met to ensure that the computer based element of the training is fit for purpose.

First aid and resuscitation guideline changes

Following a review of resuscitation guidelines by the Resuscitation Council UK in October 2015, as of December 2016 training providers now need to ensure that they are trained in accordance with the new standards. While this does not mean that employers are required to retrain existing first aiders if they still hold a current certificate, you may wish to inform clients who may be affected that a training exercise is strongly recommended in the new HSE guidance.

Offshore first aid and offshore medic dispensations

Since 11 April 2016, HSE no longer issues letters of dispensation for offshore first aiders and offshore medics whose certificates have expired and who wish to attend a requalification course. Instead, guidance now states that if they wish to requalify they will need to determine their suitability in conjunction with the training provider.

Offshore first aid and offshore medic training provider guidance changes

Following the revision of the Advisory Code of Practice to the Offshore installations and pipeline works (first-aid) regulations 1989, you are advised to make clients engaged with training providers aware that HSE have published new guidance for offshore medic and offshore first aid training providers. Your practice should also ensure that training providers and those who use their services carefully read these documents.

Fee increases for HSE approved offshore medic and offshore first aid training providers

As of 6 April 2016, HSE’s cost recovery rates have increased by 4%. This is because HSE has a duty to recover the costs of carrying out its regulatory functions from the businesses it regulates. This means that fees and charges will rise for the approval and monitoring of offshore first aid and offshore medic training providers.

Details of the increases can be found on the HSE website.

Further guidance on first aid and the changes to the legislation can be found at and in the following publications:

  • INDG214 – First aid at work: Your questions answered
  • INDG347 – Basic advice on first aid at work
  • L74 – First aid at work – The Health and safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. Guidance on Regulations
  • GEIS3 – Selecting a first aid training provider: A guide for employers Source – HSE website 2016

To download a copy of the bulletin, click here: Changes to first aid legislation

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