First Aid in the Workplace: Here's Why You Should Train Staff


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Providing workplace first aid training has myriad benefits, from boosting morale to improving productivity.

Article 3 Minutes
First Aid in the Workplace: Here's Why You Should Train Staff

Workplaces can be a wide range of settings from offices to construction sites, but all of them are locations where employees spend a considerable amount of time. Minimizing the impact of staff members becoming sick or injured isn’t just important for their wellbeing, but also makes good business sense.

In the UK alone, 150,000 employees a year sustain injuries that lead to three or more days away from work. More seriously, around 150 deaths occur in the workplace, but of those that are related to a cardiac arrest, first aid can make all the difference. For every minute that goes by without CPR or defibrillation, the chances of survival are reduced by 10%.

Training staff in first aid is the most effective way to ensure incidents are managed and employees make the best recovery possible. Having employees trained in first aid in the workplace has many benefits to both employees and the employer.

What does workplace first aid training involve?

Workplace first aid should cover the best ways to deal with common issues, like tending to cuts, bandaging a wound and helping out with minor headaches or flu symptoms. It should also address life threatening situations like unconsciousness, bleeding and trauma.

Among the skills included on such courses are:

  • Administering CPR
  • Mastering the Heimlich manoeuvre
  • Using a defibrillator
  • Controlling bleeding
  • Dealing with unconsciousness

Here are six benefits businesses can gain from providing staff with first aid training:

1. Gives staff the confidence to save lives

While the urge to step in and help a colleague who’s had an accident in the workplace is strong in many people, they don’t always know what to do. Formal first aid training courses outline a series of situations and explain the most appropriate steps to take, giving employees the confidence to follow these steps should they be required in real life.

2. Helps to reduce workplace accidents

Prevention is better than the cure and first aiders are more conscious of safety risks in the workplace than those who have no training in the area. This means they’re more likely to contribute to a reduction in accidents and injuries, which in turn helps to prevent disruptions to the operations of your business.

3. Promotes a positive working environment

Taking first aid training seriously sends a strong message to your team that their wellbeing is important to the company. It can even be used as a team building exercise to demonstrate how members of staff can rely on each other in a variety of situations. A positive attitude to first aid can translate into a better working environment for everyone.

4. Provides backup for staff working alone

Some roles require staff to work in isolated situations where there’s nobody on hand to help should an accident occur. Training lone workers in first aid will ensure they can approach situations calmly and buy themselves more time in the event they should be injured or hurt in the course of their duties.

5. Cost-effectiveness

According to the National Safety Council, workplace injuries cost US companies $171 billion a year. This figure is made up of a number of elements, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Legal fees
  • Lost productivity
  • Administrative costs

When you weigh this up against how much is spent on training staff up in first aid, it becomes clear that safety courses are cost effective.

6. Ensures first aid kits are used properly

Your business has likely invested money in first aid kits, which can be seen throughout your company premises. Employees should be trained to know what’s inside these kits, how they’re maintained properly and the best ways to use them in a proactive manner should an incident occur. Otherwise, first aid kits can fail to fulfill their potential or be found to be missing key items in the event of an accident.

HR Insights for Professionals

Insights for Professionals provide free access to the latest thought leadership from global brands. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals.


Join the conversation...