First Aid in the Construction Industry

First Aid in the Construction Industry

03rd February 2015

First Aid saves lives and this is an important consideration for those who work in the construction industry which sees more injuries and accidents in the workplace than most other industries here in the UK.  Despite stringent regulations and adequate training, accidents still happen and having a competent first aider on site is essential. 

Here in the UK, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations legally require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to make sure that employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or become ill at work.  This applies to all workplaces, no matter how many (or how few) staff are employed and it also applies to those who are self-employed. 

First Aid for construction sites is vital and all sites should have:

  • A first aid box with adequate equipment to cope with the number of workers on site
  • An appointed person who takes charge of all first aid arrangements
  • Information for workers detailing the name of the appointed person or first aider and where to find them (a notice in the site hut/office is the best way to do this)

A first aider is a person who has been trained in first aid and holds a first aid qualification approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).   The first aider should hold a valid certificate of competence in one of the following:

  • First Aid at Work (FAW), issued by a HSE approved training organisation
  • Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) issued by a HSE approved training organisation

The number of trained first aiders required on site is determined by the number of employees.

Number of Employees on Site Number of First Aiders Required
than 5
least one appointed person
5 –
At least one first aider trained in EFAW or FAW,,depending on the type of injuries that may occur
than 50
At least one first aider trained in FAW for every 50 people employed

The nature of the work being undertakenA First Aid needs assessment should be carried out in order to determine exactly what sort of provisions should be made.  The assessment should take into account the circumstances of the workplace, the workforce and the types of hazards and risks that are present.  Here are some factors to consider when carrying out the assessment:

  • The nature and size of the workforce
  • Workplace hazards and risks (this should include specific hazards that may require special arrangements)
  • The work patterns of the staff
  • Holiday and other absences of the first aiders and appointed persons
  • The distribution of the workforce
  • The remoteness of the site from emergency medical services
  • Whether employees work on shared or multi-occupancy sites
  • Requirements of remote workers, lone workers and workers who travel
  • First aid provision for non-employees, such as members of the public.