The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), carried out an evaluation of first aid in the workplace and found that ‘although first aid awareness and penetration in workplaces was good, compliance was found to be more “in spirit” rather than the letter of the regulations and this exposed some important deficiencies in the format and content of guidance and in the proportionality of the current regulatory requirements for lower risk employees’.
The changes have been developed in consultation with employers and training providers and it is hoped that the new format will make it easier for employers to comply with the regulations.
The initial four day First Aid at Work (FAW) course will be shortened to three days and there will be a new qualification of Emergency First Aider in the Workplace (EFAW) that will require a one day training course. The FAW requalification remains unchanged at two days.
The HSE will also strongly recommend that FAW and EFAW students attend an annual three hour refresher course to prevent ‘skills fade’.
Both the FAW and EFAW courses will be approved by the HSE and must be taught by HSE approved first aid training providers.
FAW certificates will remain valid until their expiry date even if this is after October 1 2009.
For more information, visit www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/index.htm