First Aid in the Workplace

An Overview on Compliance

Every workplace in Australia is covered by a legal and regulatory requirement to have appropriate first aid available and accessible for all employees. In many situations trained first aiders must also be available to cover all shifts. The onus of this responsibility falls upon the employer to ensure adequate first aid is available for potential emergencies that may arise.

> READ THE FIRST AID CODE OF PRACTICE

> READ THE FIRST AIDERS IN THE WORKPLACE FACT SHEET

Mandatory Legal Requirement

WORK HEALTH & SAFETY ACT

The WHS ACT is a legislative document that provides a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces. Penalties may apply if workplaces are found not following the WHS ACT or Regulations.

Reference Document: Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Mandatory Legal Requirement

WORK HEALTH & SAFETY REGULATIONS

The WHS Regulation is a legislative instrument that varies according to time, place or circumstance. The regulations outline health and safety requirements for duty holders by environment, operation and duty/task being carried out.

Reference Document: Health and Safety Regulations 2011

FIRST AID IN THE WORKPLACE CODE OF PRACTICE

The Code of Practice provides PRACTICAL GUIDANCE for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to comply with duties under the WHS Act and Regulations to provide adequate first aid facilities in the workplace. It includes information on first aid kits, procedures, facilities and training for first aiders.

Document: First Aid in the Workplace, Code of Practice July, 2019 (Safe Work Australia)

IMPORTANT

If a relevant Act or Regulation exists, you must follow the requirements stated in the documents. Penalties may apply if workplaces are found not following the WHS ACT or Regulation.

The content is provided as a general recommendation and should not be used as a substitute for information provided by your local State or Territory Work Health & Safety regulatory authority.

Most would readily identify an office, warehouse, manufacturing facility or a construction site as workplaces but don’t forget work vehicles such as trucks, delivery vehicles and company cars also constitute a workplace and require appropriate first aid to be on board

WOKRPLACE FIRST AID KITS AND OFFICERS GUIDE

Workplace Size High Risk Low Risk Number of First Aid Kits to Workers Number of First Aid
Officers
100 or more workers No Yes
  • 1 First Aid Kit for first 50 workers.
  • 2 First Aid Kits for 100 workers.
  • 1 additional First Aid Kit for every 100 workers thereafter.
  • 1 Officer for 25-50 workers.
  • 2  Officers for 51-100 workers.
  • Additional officer for every additional 100 workers.
25 or more workers Yes No
  • 1 First Aid Kit for first 25 workers.
  • 1 additional First Aid Kit for every 50 workers thereafter.
  • 1 Officer for up to 25 workers. 2 Officers for 25-50 workers.
  • Additional Officer for every additional 50 workers.
10-100 workers No Yes 1 First Aid Kit is to be provided.
  • 1 Officer for 25-50 workers.
  • 2  Officers for 51-100 workers.
  • Additional Officer for every additional 100 workers.
25 or less workers Yes No
  • 1 First Aid Kit for first 25 workers.
  • 1 additional kit for every 50 workers thereafter.
  • 1 Officer for 25 workers.
  • 2  Officers for 25-50 workers.
  • Additional Officer for every additional 50 workers.
10 or less workers     1 First Aid Kit. Risk assessment conducted to identify the need to provide a First Aid Officer.

High Risk Workplace

EXAMPLE: Construction, Warehousing, Manufacturing, Laboratories

DEFINITION: A workplace where workers are exposed to hazards

RECOMMENDATION: 1 first aid kit should be provided on site for at least every 25 people

Low Risk Workplace

EXAMPLE: Office Buildings, Home Offices, Retail Shop, Cars/Trucks

DEFINITION: A workplace where workers are not exposed to hazards

RECOMMENDATION: 1 first aid kit should be provided on site for at least every 50 people

First Aid Site Assessment

A periodic assessment schedule of your worklace first aid equipment will allow you to identify hazards and determine typical injuries or illness that may require rapid treatment. The assessment should also consider number of employees and work area design as first aid should be easily accessible and available within minutes of the injury location.

Assessment Guidelines for Workplace First Aid

As business operations are constantly changing to meet customer demands your workplace first aid requirements may also require adjustments.

STEP 1: Hazards

Identify potential causes of workplace injury and illness

STEP 2: Injuries

Assess the risk of workplace injury and illness

STEP 3: Remedy - What first aid is required

Choose the First Aid Kit that is suitable for the workplace

STEP 4: Review first aid to ensure effectiveness

Choose additional Add-On Packs to ensure the whole workplace contains adequate First Aid on site at all times

According to the latest Code Of Practice, First Aid in the Workplace, a first aid room is recommended for:

Low Risk
LOW RISK WORKPLACES WITH 200 WORKERS OR MORE

High Risk
HIGH RISK WORKPLACES WITH 100 WORKERS OR MORE

A first aid room should be established at the workplace if a risk assessment indicates that it would be difficult to administer appropriate first aid unless a first aid room is provided.

For example, workplaces where there is a higher risk of serious injury or illness occurring that would not only require immediate first aid, but also further treatment by an emergency service, may benefit from having access to a dedicated first aid room.

The contents of a first aid room should suit the hazards that are specific to the workplace.

The location and size of the room should allow easy access and movement of injured people who may need to be supported or moved by a stretcher or wheelchair.

> DOWNLOAD FIRST AID ROOM CHECKLIST

1. Workplace Type


VEHICLE


OFFICE


WORKPLACE


REMOTE WORKER

2. Additional Risks


OUTDOOR WORK INJURIES


BURNS INJURIES


EYE INJURIES

3. Risk & Quantity


LOW RISK

Number of people designed to assist workplace rating of "Low Risk"


HIGH RISK

Number of people designed to assist workplace rating of "High Risk"