First Aid Training in the Age of Social Distancing
Coronavirus has changed our world. Many of the things we’re used to doing are simply no longer possible. Nevertheless, the law regulating first aid training remains. An employer is legally obliged to ensure first aid provisions are in place for any employee taken ill or is injured whilst at work.
Back to work – Review your first aid needs assessment
The requirements for first aid cover in a workplace may be reduced simply because many employees are working from home due to Coronavirus. Maybe some employees are part-trained and need to complete their training. To identify your requirements you need to conduct a First Aid Needs Assessment.
What has changed due to the virus? Does the Assessment need to be modified? If so, how? The First Aid Assessment Needs will identify your requirements to comply with the law. Detailed information and templates are available on the HSE website here:
The Health and Safety Executive has always affirmed that organisations maintain adequate First Aid cover. Quote “If fewer people are coming into your workplace it may still be safe to operate with reduced first aid cover. If possible you could also reduce or stop higher-risk activities.”
Can your workforce continue to work safely?
The Health and safety executive has provided guidance on sharing first aid resources.
First aid certificate extension
What about first aid certificate extensions? The HSE has issued a guidance on this matter and has advised that first aid certificates expired on or after 16th March 2020 qualify for an extension.
Do you qualify for a three-month extension? If you’re an Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), or hold a First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates, qualify for an extension. A training provider will ensure you met the criteria to qualify for an extension.
The requalification of first aid has now been extended to 31st September 2020. The DfE (Department for Education) has also mirrored the extension period for Paediatric First Aid courses.
First aid training interrupted by the Covid-19 crisis
If the virus has interrupted your employee first aid training and remains incomplete within the stipulated time frame, the candidate should be able to re-start the training at a later stage. The candidate will need to recap the knowledge to assist with completing the qualification successfully. The training provider has to ensure the criteria set by the Awarding Body are met and the candidate has a full understanding of the course.
When will group training recommence?
Although first aid courses can accommodate up to 12 candidates, due to social distancing restrictions this may be reduced depending on the space available. This will be determined by conducting a short risk assessment to identify if running an on-site first aid course meets the social distancing requirements.
To maintain a hygienically safe environment for all each candidate will be issued with their own manikin where possible or a changeable face mask, antibacterial wipes, and a face shield. Guidance on theory and practical assessments will be issued prior to the commencement of the course.
Further details are provided during the time of an enquiry.
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