The first aid-appointed person is not the first aider. By definition, a first aid-appointed person is a competent individual who has designated the role of helping out an injured or affected person who just recently suffered from an accident or injury at the workplace. A first aid-appointed person plays a vital role in handling the situation until the professionals arrive, such as the first aider. So, a first aid appointee provides immediate assistance to the injured person to help get the situation under control and stop the injury or the affected person’s condition from worsening. If you are an employer, it is important for you to be aware of how and where you should appoint a first aid appointee. You need to understand who they really are and what their responsibilities are. In this blog, we will guide you on the roles and responsibilities of a first aid appointee.
It is the responsibility of an employer to figure out how many and where he should assign appointees in their workplace. Employers are legally required to maintain health and safety in their workplace. By appointing a responsible person in the workplace, you can ensure your compliance with health and safety regulations. There are some certain needs that every employee and business should make sure to have arranged in the first place:
- Conducting a first aid risk assessment, which would help identify what safety measures you could take to implement stronger health and safety policies in the workplace.
- Figuring and appointing certain responsible persons to take charge of the first aid arrangements or having trained first aiders.
- Ensuring that the first aid box is present and accessible in various areas of the workplace.
- Providing all your employees with the information they need regarding first aid arrangements.
It is crucial to understand where you can substitute an appointed person instead for a first aider. Well, an appointed person should be the minimum requirement for your workplace. If your workplace is at a lower risk of injuries and accidents, an appointee can cover up to 20 to 25 workers. But in high-risk work, an appointee can only cover five people at most. Before you decide whether an appointee is the right choice for your business, it is important that you look at their responsibilities and what roles they could perform.
Responsibility 1: looking after first aid equipment and facilities
A first aid appointee can look after the first aid equipment at your workplace. They would verify whether there is proper first aid present in the first aid toolbox so that it could be available in case of emergency. This might also include regularly checking the first aid box and replacing out-of-date items.
Responsibility 2: taking charge when someone is injured or becomes ill
Usually, the first aid appointee is the person who would take the first step towards providing first aid to the injured person in your workplace. The appointee would provide his services to the injured person until the professional aid arrived, such as the first aider. This is very crucial for your business as the appointee’s quick and fast services could really help save someone’s life.
Usually, it is always recommended to have a first aid-appointed person at your workplace if you are running a smaller-scale business.
This excludes providing first aid. It is unreasonable to expect a designated person to perform medical assessments or provide first aid if they have not received first aid training. However, they can make an emergency call, get first aid supplies, and let someone know that help is on the way.
Responsibility 3: calling the emergency services
You don’t need to be trained to do something as basic as calling the emergency services. Well, the role of appointees in this situation is to call the emergency services by analysing the situation. If the condition of the injured or ill person is at risk of worsening, then the appointee would call the emergency services at the right moment so that professional medical help could be available as soon as possible.
You might be thinking of why there is a need to appoint a person to call for an emergency. Surely anyone can do it right, but it is vital to understand that in emergencies, most people think that someone would already have called for help. All this confusion can delay the process of first aid and delay the emergency services to arrive.
After an accident or a medical crisis, quick action such as calling for help could make the difference between life and death.
An appointed person may be in charge of calling the emergency services when they are working alongside a certified first aider. This ensures that 999 calls are answered quickly, keeping the first responder from having to divert their attention from someone who requires it. For instance, the first responder might be performing CPR while the designated person summons assistance.
Responsibility 4: keeping a record
An appointee can help maintain the record for injuries and illnesses that have occurred in the workplace. This would include the record of internal accident report forms, as well as updating the accident book. An appointee could also alert an employer for any RIDDOR reportable incidents that have happened in the workplace.
Responsibility 5: providing emergency cover
If your first aid risk assessment shows that you require certain numbers of first aiders at your workplace, then you should make sure to appoint the same numbers of first aiders at your workplace. This includes the consideration for sift work, leaves, and the number of employees at your firm.
Appointees could come in handy for assisting an injured person, just in case the first aider is not present due to unforeseen circumstances. But again, an appointee cannot perform the role of a first aider. They are simply not competent enough to give first aid to a casualty. But they surely can take charge of the first aid arrangements and contact the emergency services.
When you would perform a risk assessment at your workplace, it is important to keep in mind the size of your business workspace and the number of employees. After conducting the risk assessment, you would be able to analyse how many first aid appointees would be required at your workplace. If this number is high, then it could be a problem for you. As it would be costly to hire third-party services. But one easy solution could be to train your own employees. By providing them with appropriate first aid at work course, you could train your workers on how to be effective first aid appointees for your workplace. Training will provide your workers with the information they require to perform the role of a first aid appointee and provide them with the skillset. Training can certainly be a cheap and easy solution for your problem, and it is important to consider it when appointing first aid roles at your workplace.
In conclusion, the role and responsibilities of the First Aid Appointed Person are critical in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees in the workplace. They must be trained to recognize and assess injuries and illnesses, administer appropriate first aid treatment, provide basic life support, and summon additional medical assistance if necessary. Proper training and access to equipment are essential to the First Aid Appointed Person’s ability to perform their duties effectively. By fulfilling their responsibilities, the First Aid Appointed Person can help prevent injuries and illnesses from escalating into more serious situations, ultimately promoting a safer and healthier work environment.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.