We are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for our employees, service users and members of the public.

Injury or illness can happen at any time. We need to make sure immediate help is available for anyone who is injured or taken ill at work. This includes employees and anyone using or visiting our premises. First aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones. This document offers practical advice on first aid arrangements in the workplace.

This document is part of Falkirk Council's Safety Management System and applies to all employees and workplaces.

  1. Table of contents

First aid needs assessment

Not all workplaces will need to have the same first aid arrangements. Different work environments and work activities have different hazards which bring different levels of risk. First aid arrangements must be appropriate to the workplace, the workforce and the people using or visiting the premises.

Premises Managers will make sure a first aid needs assessment (available on the SHE system) is completed for their workplace. This will help identify what first aid arrangements are appropriate. The needs assessment will consider:

  • workplace hazards and risks
  • the size of the workforce
  • work patterns of staff
  • previous incidents where first aid was required

The nature of workplace hazards in risk assessments and their potential impact will help work out the types, quantities and distribution of first-aid equipment, facilities and first aiders needed.

Once the needs assessment is complete the Premises Manager will ensure:

  • appropriate first aiders are appointed
  • appropriate first aid training is provided
  • adequate first aid materials, equipment and facilities are available based on the findings of the needs assessment

The needs assessment will be reviewed regularly to confirm if the first aid arrangements are adequate. Premises Managers must complete the First Aid Needs Assessment for their building on the SHE Assure system.

The Premises Manager has overall responsibility for ensuring there is adequate first aid provision within their building. In situations where a large number of employees are working under a hybrid working model this will mean sufficient first aiders will need to be identified to ensure that there is adequate coverage when trained first aiders are working away from the office.

Category of risk

Lower risk e.g. offices, libraries, museums, community centres, small halls

Numbers employed at any location First Aid Provision
Fewer than 25 At least one appointed person
25 – 50 At least one first aider trained in (EFAW)
More than 50 At least one first aider trained in (FAW) for every 50 employed (Or part thereof)

Higher risk e.g. Depots.

Most construction work, extensive work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, outdoor work, Practical subjects in schools e.g. Science, PE, CDT.

Numbers employed at any location First Aid Provision
Fewer than 5 At least one appointed person
At least one first aider trained in EFAW or FAW depending on type of injuries that might occur
More than 50 At least one first aider trained in FAW for every 50 employed (or part thereof)

First aiders

The first aid needs assessment will show if a first aider or an appointed person are needed in the workplace.

A First Aider will offer help to someone who is injured or ill. They will keep them safe until they can get treatment from an appropriate medical professional. There should always be enough First Aiders so that first aid can be provided without delay and at all times while people are at work. Anyone acting as a first aider needs to receive formal First Aid training. It is the First Aiders responsibility to ensure they maintain their First Aid certification.


There are two levels of training courses available to First Aiders - First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work.

First Aid at Work is a three day course which is suitable for First Aiders at workplaces that either fall into a higher risk category or have higher numbers of employees, service users or visitors. It may also be appropriate for workplaces with a variety of underlying health conditions like heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, conditions leading to severe allergic reactions, etc.

The First Aid at Work certificate is valid for three years and can be renewed following a two day refresher course.

Emergency First Aid at Work is a one day course which is suitable for First Aiders in workplaces that either fall into a low risk category or have lower numbers of employees, service users or visitors.

The Emergency First Aid at Work certificate is also valid for three years and can be renewed following a one day refresher course.

Premises Managers will also make sure First Aiders are provided with any additional training that may be appropriate in their workplace. Specific advice for additional training can be obtained by the Health, Safety & Wellbeing team. For example how to deal with:

  • hypothermia or hyperthermia for work activities which involve extensive exposure to the outdoor environment
  • drowning casualties in swimming pools or work activities alongside water
  • major illness in low hazard workplaces but there is a risk from users or visitors based on their health or age profile
  • Injuries to children in a school or other childcare setting
  • Paediatric first aid

First Aiders are responsible for informing the Premises Managers if their First Aid training has lapsed or if they are no longer fulfilling the role of a First Aider.

Appointed person

In some cases due to the size of the workplace and the nature of the work being done it is not necessary to have a First Aider present. In these circumstances someone must be appointed to look after and restock first aid kits and call emergency services when required if someone becomes ill or injured. This person should be always available when people are at work. The appointed person does not need first aid training and should not attempt or be expected to provide first aid.

Appointed persons are typically only appropriate for low risk workplaces (such as offices, libraries or museums) with less than 25 people present. Where possible, all workplaces should seek to have at least one first aider instead of relying on an Appointed Person.

Materials, equipment, facilities and signage

First Aid Kits

First aid kits will be available at suitable locations in the workplace to ensure there are adequate supplies appropriate to the nature of the hazards present in the workplace. Premises managers are responsible for providing first aid kits in Council premises.

Where appropriate travelling first aid kits will also be available in work vehicles. Service managers are responsible for providing first aid kits in work vehicles.

Pain relief tablets and other medicines will not be kept in a first aid kit. If the treatment of a casualty involves them taking their own prescribed medication the first aider's role is limited to helping them do so and contacting the emergency services if necessary.

First aiders (or an Appointed Person) will make sure first aid kits are maintained, in date and re-stocked.

First Aid Room

There should be a first aid room for workplaces where a first aid needs assessment shows they are in a high risk category or have higher numbers of employees, service users or visitors.

First-aid rooms should be clearly identified, easily accessible reserved exclusively for the provision of first aid treatment

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

In buildings where there are large numbers of employees, service users or visitors present Automated External Defibrillator (AED) may be available. AEDs can be used to provide immediate resuscitation in the event of cardiac arrest. An AED will analyse the heart rhythm of a person in cardiac arrest and may apply a shock to enable the patient's heart to restart. An AED will not apply a shock if it isn't needed.

Whilst training is available for using an AED, individuals who have not received training are encouraged to attempt to use one where necessary. The AED will provide step by step instructions to the user in these circumstances.

Workplaces which purchase an AED should consider if it is appropriate for it to be registered as a public access defibrillator. More details can be found on the British Heart Foundation's The Circuit website.


Details of First Aider (or Appointed Persons) should be displayed prominently in all workplaces.

Record keeping

All workplace injuries (regardless of whether they are work related or not), including details of any first aid provided, must be reported in accordance with Falkirk Council's Corporate Health & Safety Policy by completing the Incident Report on the SHE Assure System.