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Why you need annual first aid refresher training

It's essential to regularly refresh your knowledge of first aid and how to apply it

First aid certification

First aid certificates last for three years, but the Health & Safety Executive strongly recommends that first-aiders undertake first aid refresher training each year. This will refresh your knowledge of first aid and understanding of how to apply it. Have a think about how well you can remember something that you learned three years ago. It’s not easy, is it?

Like many other skills, first aid requires a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical ability. To know the exact steps to take in a high-pressure situation, keeping up to date with first aid skills is essential. We’re going to explain why you need annual first aid refresher training.

Qualified first aiders save lives

If you work in a hazardous environment or with a large workforce, you’ve got to make sure you’re prepared for a worst-case scenario. First aid can be crucial in keeping a casualty in a stable condition until medical professionals arrive. If a casualty is losing blood or struggling to breathe, the actions taken in those first five or ten minutes could make all the difference.

What if multiple employees are injured at once? If your qualified first aider is one of the casualties, do you have someone else who can provide them with first aid? First aiders save lives, so having enough of them to provide care for your workforce is crucial.

Comply with legal requirements

It’s undeniable that having qualified first aiders on-site during an emergency can be the difference between life and death. That’s why the Health and Safety Executive has set out the following legal requirements for employers to follow.

  • Employers must:
  • Have a designated individual who is appointed to take charge of first-aid arrangements in low-risk working environments.
  • Make sure there is an adequate number of trained first aiders on site in higher-risk working environments.
  • Make sure that the first aiders on their team maintain their skills throughout the certificate (three years).
  • Provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
  • Carry out a risk assessment of first aid needs, including identifying workplace hazards and responding to them accordingly.

First aiders are expected to refresh their knowledge and skills at least once every two years. While annual first aid refresher training is not a legal requirement, the Health and Safety Executive strongly endorses it. This is because it helps your first aiders to maintain their skills throughout their certification (which is a legal requirement).

First aid procedures change regularly

While basic life support techniques stay the same, there are other procedures that are updated quite regularly. Two or three years after you last completed your certification, ongoing health research may have discovered a new, safer way of providing first aid in certain situations. This is why it’s essential to keep up with the legislation and update your knowledge.

First aid in a post-coronavirus environment

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our personal and professional lives. This includes pretty much everything, from seeing friends and family to providing first aid at work. How will COVID-19 have affected your workplace risk assessment? And what if one of your qualified first aiders needs to self-isolate for two weeks – do you have someone else who can take their place?

There are so many things to consider in light of the global pandemic. With many businesses now reopening after lockdown restrictions have eased, making sure that your returning staff are safe is a top priority. This means having qualified first aiders on-site who can not only care for other employees, but for guests, visitors and clients who may fall ill on your premises.

Are your first aid skills up to date?

If you or any of your team members hold an existing first aid certificate, you can sign up for a first aid refresher course to update your skills and knowledge. During this critical period as we attempt to return to normal operations, health and safety is key to making a full recovery.

We provide bespoke first aid refresher training sessions that are shaped around your exact needs. Whether you work in a low or high-risk environment, we can provide you with the first aid training you need to feel confident in emergency situations.

We are based in Coggeshall, Essex, and we’re happy to travel to your office (if COVID-19 regulations allow). So whether you are based in Braintree, Southend or Chelmsford, we can provide you and your team with first aid refresher training. To find out more about first aid and how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today and speak to a member of our team.