We have had so many questions about whether you need to take First Aid precautions for the public. Whenever our needs assessment email goes out, it sparks a real debate!
But what is the right answer?

Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Naturally, we have to follow the top dogs on this one.

The HSE hold the reins when it comes to rules and regulations, so we always wait for them to make the first move. But sadly, on this occasion, they haven’t denied or agreed!

We know… this isn’t exactly helpful. But they do give examples of businesses which qualify for some thinking time. The HSE explain that:

We* do not require employers to provide first aid for members of the public. However, many organisations such as schools, places of entertainment, fairgrounds and shops provide a service for others. HSE strongly recommends that employers include the public in their first-aid needs assessment and make provision for them.

Do the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 cover large events such as concerts?

Only in so far as employers are responsible for providing first aid for their employees. At events such as concerts, it is the event organiser’s responsibility to ensure the availability of medical, ambulance and first-aid assistance as appropriate for all those involved.

It can still seem a little wishy-washy, we make no bones about that. However, if your organisation hosts large events held specifically for the public, this is where you need to make those provisions. Cast your mind back to large events you have attended yourself, and I am sure you will picture either emergency stations, points of care/help desks, and even first aid tents.

These companies have followed HSE!

And if they weren’t there? Well, it looks like they didn’t plan ahead so good.

Did You Know?

A common misconception is that those walking around in Hi Vis jackets are paramedics. In actual fact, they are ordinary people who have been First Aid trained and choose to volunteer.

The one thing companies will avoid at all costs are legal disputes. And while your company isn’t obligated to cover the public, they certainly have a loud voice. If part of your service or business is to involuntarily cause injury, pain or a medical emergency – you certainly want to be able to nip that in the bud.

Want to have a little more reassurance on your First Aids Needs Assessment? Click here to read our article, or if you’d prefer, speak to one of our Service Superheroes on 0330 335 1234 (sometimes it’s nice to have a chat!)

As always if you find this blog useful, feel free to share with colleagues, family and friends on social media – you never know who might need to know!

Jessica Clarke-Wheatley

Jessica Clarke-Wheatley

Jessica is the Brand and Communications Officer nationally for SkillBase First Aid. She loves sharing stories about how SkillBase First Aid turns people in 'Standby-Superheroes'.

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