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GOVERNMENT RETREATS FROM FIRST AID TRAINING APPROVAL

HSE approval of training providers and qualifications to be removed

The Government reform of Britain’s health and safety system is being driven by the Löfstedt review which noted that the training and qualifications for first-aiders must be approved by HSE. 

The review concluded that: (a) the requirement goes beyond the EU Directive (b) has “little justification” and that (c) businesses should be free to choose what is right for their workplace, and possibly reduce costs.  The report recommend that:

“HSE amends the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel.”

HSE is now working towards implementing the recommendation for first aid at work. 

Main effect of the proposed changes

Providers will longer have to seek HSE approval thereby removing the costs associated with gaining approval. The changes proposed mean that:

  • training clients will have greater flexibility in choosing first aid training, suitable for their workplaces risks;
  • the self employed will no longer be under a statutory duty to provide equipment to render first aid to themselves if injured at work; and
  • training providers will no longer be able to state that they are HSE approved and will need to remove such statements from literature and/or web pages. This is also applicable to representative bodies.

HSE will continue to maintain the standard for first aid training and will be amending guidance for employers to reflect the changes.

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