Introduction to this document

Rules for first aiders/appointed persons

As with any aspect of the employment relationship, it’s important that you make it clear to those with first aid duties, just what you expect of them. With this in mind, issue some simple rules so they know what they should and shouldn’t do.

Creating the rules

Irrespective of whether you use first aiders, appointed persons, or a combination of the two, it may be useful to introduce some ground rules. This will enable your staff to know exactly what’s expected of them whilst carrying out their duties. It will also enable you to reduce your exposure to liability, e.g. by instructing staff not to hand out medicines to staff. These Rules for First Aiders/Appointed Persons can be adapted for your own particular needs, but ours cover the most important areas.

First aider dos

In order to avoid any potential liability, it’s important that the first rule instructs first aid staff of the need to always act in accordance with their training. Other rules reinforce this by making it clear that staff must respond promptly to any request for assistance and summon further medical help where necessary. Administrative issues are also important, so there is a reminder to those with first aid responsibilities of the need to fill out the accident book properly and to keep their manager informed of annual leave dates wherever possible. This will hopefully allow for alternative arrangements to be made in their absence, e.g. in a lower risk environment, for a new appointed person to cover some of their duties.

First aider don’ts

Equally, the rules state what should not be done. One purpose of this is to try to avoid circumstances where a first aider (and to a lesser degree, an appointed person), could act beyond their training and cause harm or injury to the person they are trying to treat. Do this by making it clear that no medicines are to be kept in any first aid kits and no attempt at diagnosis is to be made. The other reason for this is to ensure that they don’t unwittingly admit liability in the event of an accident. This is the responsibility of your insurers, following any legal advice that they may wish to take.