First aid Requirements Department of Education

First aid Requirements Department of Education

First aid Requirements Department of Education: The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 set out first-aid provision in the work place, and require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and qualified first-aid personnel.

The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) recommends that organisations such as schools, which provide a service for others, should include such other individuals in risk assessments and provide for them. Schools should therefore consider the likely risks to staff, pupils and visitors, and make allowances for them when drawing up policies and deciding on the numbers of first-aid personnel. Most schools will have first-aid arrangements in place but it is strongly recommended that all schools should develop their own first-aid policies and procedures based on an assessment of local need. Schools will need to assess numbers of first-aid personnel, equipment, accommodation and recording and reporting arrangements.


First aid Requirements Department of Education – Schools


First Aid Arrangements

All staff must be informed of the first-aid arrangements: the location of equipment, facilities and first-aid personnel, and the procedures for monitoring and reviewing the school’s first-aid needs.

The employer or delegated manager (usually the headteacher) must inform all staff of the first-aid arrangements, the location of equipment, facilities and first-aid personnel, and the procedures for monitoring and reviewing the school’s first-aid needs.

A simple method of keeping staff and pupils informed is by displaying first-aid notices in staff and common rooms. The information should be clear and easily understood.

Notices must be displayed in a prominent place, preferably one in each building if the school is on several sites.

Including first-aid information in induction programmes will ensure that new staff and pupils are told about the first-aid arrangements. It is also good practice to include such information in a staff handbook.


First Aid Boxes

There is no mandatory list of items for a first-aid container. However, the HSE recommends that, where there is no special risk, a minimum provision of first-aid contents would be:

  • A leaflet giving general advice on first aid.
  • Twenty individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings (assorted sizes).
  • Two sterile eye pads.
  • Four individually wrapped triangular bandages.
  • Six safety pins.
  • Six medium-sized (12cm x 12cm) individually wrapped sterile unmedicated wound dressings.
  • One pair of disposable gloves.

Equivalent or additional items are acceptable.


First-aid materials, equipment and facilities

First-aid equipment must be clearly labelled and easily accessible. Every employer should provide at least one fully stocked first-aid container at each site. Additional containers will be needed for split sites or levels, distant sports fields or playgrounds and any off-site activities. All first-aid containers must be marked with a white cross on a green background.

The first-aid arrangements should identify who is responsible for checking first-aid containers. The contents of first-aid containers should be checked regularly and containers should be restocked as soon as possible after use. Any items that have passed their expiry date should be safely discarded. Extra stock should be kept in the school.

The visibility of first-aid boxes is crucial and should be given careful consideration. If possible, they should be kept near to handwashing facilities.



Schools must have a room appropriate and readily available to use for caring for sick or injured pupils. It must contain a washbasin and be reasonably near to a WC. The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 apply.


First Aiders

Unless first-aid cover is part of a staff member’s contractual duties, first-aiders are selected on a voluntary basis. First-aiders must complete a training course approved by the HSE.
First-aiders’ main duties are to give immediate help to casualties with common injuries and those arising from specific hazards at school, and, when necessary, to ensure that an ambulance or other professional medical help is called.
When considering first-aiders, governing bodies and headteachers should take into account an individual’s:

  • reliability and communication skills
  • aptitude and ability to absorb new knowledge and learn new skills
  • ability to cope with stressful and physically demanding emergency procedures
  • normal duties: a first-aider must be able to leave their usual post and go immediately to an emergency.


First-aid appointed person

An appointed person:

  • takes charge when someone is injured or becomes ill
  • looks after the first-aid equipment
  • ensures that an ambulance or other professional medical help is summoned when appropriate.

The minimum requirement is that an appointed person must take charge of the first-aid arrangements. An appointed person is not a first aider and should not give first-aid treatment for which they have not been trained. Any member of staff may volunteer for duties as an appointed person.

There are no rules on the exact number of first-aid personnel. This will be a judgement based upon local circumstances and a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

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Paediatric First Aid London offer a number of specialised First Aid Courses to all Child Care sectors within the London area.