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First aid guidance

Guidance for Heads of Department in managing first aid.


First aid needs assessment

Safety, Health and Employee Wellbeing (SHEW) has delegated responsibility to ensure that adequate arrangements are put in place to provide sufficient first aid provision. It will do this via a First Aid Needs Assessment.

The following criteria is used to determine the number of first aiders needed in a building. This is based on typical numbers present in a building at any particular time during the normal working day:

  • high risk buildings (e.g. containing workshops, laboratories, etc.) − one first aider for every 50 employees

  • general risk level (such as offices, GTA spaces, etc.) − one first aider for every 100 employees

  • additional considerations − one first aider for every 250 students

Should a department consider that they have a need for additional first aiders, the Head of Department should complete a local first aid provision review form and send it to SHEW. This task may be delegated to a suitable member of the relevant department or service.

On receipt of the application, SHEW will consider the request and, if it falls within the criteria laid out, will arrange for additional University first aiders to be trained to fulfil the need.

Departments may additionally arrange to train their own first aiders if they are needed in particular situations arising out of the department’s activities, such as field work or research involving members of the public. These departmental first aiders are not considered to be University First Aiders and will not be eligible for the annual honorarium.


Heads of Departments

  • Need to ensure that any authorised first aiders under their control are provided with sufficient time to attend training and to maintain the first aid equipment for which they are responsible

    • The First Aider will be required to attend an initial (pre-qualification) training of three days and requalification training of two days every three years in order to remain qualified. It is strongly recommended that First Aiders are encouraged to attend refresher training at least annually. Free short courses are available in June and December each year run by the Sports Training Village
  • Will ensure that all new starters are given basic health and safety information relating to first aid provision on their first day at work. This task can be delegated to Line Managers. The Department Health and Safety Handbook should include this information for reference.

  • Will ensure that any first aid equipment under their control is adequately maintained, stored in a safe place, accessible to first aiders and ready for use at all times

    • A delegated named person can carry out these duties and keep records. Department inspections should periodically include checking these records
  • Will ensure that records are kept for all Automated External Defibrillators (AED) equipment under their control to demonstrate a suitable and sufficient maintenance and testing programme

    • A delegated named person can carry out these duties and keep records. Department inspections should periodically include checking these records

First Aiders responsibilities

First Aiders need to maintain simple, factual records and provide information to the emergency services as required.

  • The emergency services will require information over the phone prior to their attendance – provide this information to Security so they can relay it. You may be asked on their arrival for an update; be prepared for this and answer any questions they may have

  • It is advisable to keep a small note book and pen with your first aid kit to make notes as soon as possible after the event. Information such as: date, time, place, name of injured person, first aid given, nature of injury, Security informed? Whether the person went home, SHEW informed etc

  • Ensure the first aid kit for which they are responsible, is kept fully stocked and up to date

  • Maintain periodic checks to ensure all equipment in the first aid box is in date (where relevant) and check and replenish after every use

The HSE and National Resuscitation Council have issued guidance for first aiders on the delivery of CPR and risk of contracting Covid 19. Read the guidance.

Document control

Date of last review: March 2023.
Date of next review: March 2026.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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