First Aid Needs Assessment – Legal Responsibilities

First Aid Needs Assessment for the workplace

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 were revised and implemented in October 2013.
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Identifying your first aid needs in the workplace

When assessing your workplace first aid training and supplies needs, you now have to consider more factors than was previously required.

What do I need to consider during my first aid needs assessment?

The HSE guidance requires you to consider the following:

  • the nature of the work carried out and the risks involved in carrying out that work?
  • do you have any employee who has a disability or health condition?
  • have you had any accidents in the workplace?
  • the number of people employed at your site?
  • what is the number of inexperienced workers at your site?
  • do you have any employee who has an underlying health problem that moves them into a higher risk category; e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, history of heart attack, etc?
  • do you have any staff member suffering recurring illnesses or injuries?
  • do you have any employees who travel extensively, or who work remotely or alone?
  • what are your staff’s shift patterns and out of normal hours work?
  • the layout of each site, e.g. does each location cover a large area, is it split over several floors?
  • how close is your site to the emergency services?
  • what arrangements have you in place when your nominated first aider is off work due to annual leave or sickness?
  • is  your workplace accessible to visitors; i.e. members of the public?

What useful sources of evidence can I use for my first aid needs assessment?

The following items can be used in helping you in carrying out your First Aid needs assessment

  • Accident Report Book
  • Absence records
  • COSHH records
  • RIDDOR reports
  • Risk assessments
  • Systems and operating procedures
  • Work/shift patterns
  • Holiday records
  • Distance to closest medical facilities
  • Ambulance response times
  • Site terrain for ambulance vehicles

How many times do I need to carry out a first aid needs assessment?

Under The Health and Safety (First-Aid)) Regulations 1981, your first aid needs assessment should form part of your main risk assessment.  To ensure your duty of care towards your staff, we recommend you review your first aid needs annually.  However, if any of the following conditions change, you should consider reviewing your first aid needs immediately:

  • a work related accident or illness
  • change in personnel
  • change to your workplace; e.g. move to a different site or introduction of new equipment
  • changes in work processes or patterns

As Scotland’s leading training provider and the standard setter in first aid, St Andrew’s First Aid Training and Supplies Ltd will help you understand your roles and responsibilities and assist you to quickly put in place all first aid and health and safety requirements to ensure your workplace is completely compliant.

For more information on first aid within the workplace, please visit:

Alternatively, call our experts on first aid needs assessment on 0300 4 666 999 or email