Update advice on first aid protocols

May 2010

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are regularly asked questions on different first aid protocols in particular whether the treatment provided is correct.  This type of advice is outside our remit and is caused by misunderstanding our regulatory role in first aid.  The update clarifies the role of HSE with regard to the application of first aid as required by the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 and Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First Aid) Regulations 1989 to the work place: 

Our role is to ensure approved training providers deliver this training to a syllabus set by the HSE.  The HSE also apply the regulations in the context of ensuring there is adequate first aid provision in the form of facilities, equipment and competent individuals within a workplace and that it reflects the first aid needs as determined by a suitable assessment of the hazards and risks. 

When it comes to commenting on the appropriateness of a given protocol/procedure on first aid, HSE derive their first aid standards from those written by the UK Resuscitation Council and the current edition of the first aid manual of the voluntary aided societies.  Other protocols we would accept are those either aligned with the UK Resuscitation Council, the voluntary aided societies (St John Ambulance, British Red Cross and St Andrew's Ambulance Association) or supported by a responsible body of medical opinion.  We also do not comment on specific areas of medical or first aid treatment.

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