How Many First Aiders Do I Need: Personnel, Equipment + FAQs

basic life support training

Having qualified first aiders in your workplace is mandatory for your company to be legally compliant.

Aside from being required by law, it is also important that someone from the building can provide first aid in case of an emergency.

If you’re unsure how many first aiders your establishment requires, we’ll help you identify the exact number of first aid providers you’ll need through this guide.

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Safety First Aid Regulations

As required by the guidelines of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, employers must provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities, and first aid personnel.

Employers need to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the building while at work. Failure to provide basic medical treatment could result in a casualty’s death.

Events like this could be prevented if given immediate medical attention.

Hence, there’s a need for employers to have trained first aiders on ‘First Aid at Work Coursesamongst their teams.

As an employer, you must conduct a First Aid Needs Assessment as this will guide you as to what is an adequate number of persons for first aid provision you’ll need in the workplace.

How Many First Aiders Do I Need in My Workplace?

Identifying how many first aiders are required will be based on the risk level present in your workplace as you conduct a risk assessment.

These are categorized into two:

  • Low-risk workplaces: The risk resulting in serious injury or illness is low.
  • High-risk workplaces: These areas involve high-risk activities such as dealing with dangerous machinery or heavy equipment. These include construction sites, mobile plant sites, mines, railways, and health services.

As suggested by the HSE Guidance, the number of first aiders in every workplace category is the following:

  • Low-risk workplaces – one first aider for every 50 workers
  • High-risk workplaces – one first aider for every 25 workers

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How Many First Aiders Do I Need in School?

It is recommended that every school should have at least one qualified first aider and one designated appointed person. This only covers the employee section.

The possible school hazards are minimal (except for rare cases). Hence they’re classified as low-risk areas.

Unless confirmed through first aid needs assessment, two designated persons are enough for adequate and appropriate first aid provision.

Schools must also ensure the children’s health and safety first. Therefore, at least one person must have a current pediatric first aid (PFA) certificate.

This will give the school confidence in protecting the children’s mental health and well-being.

Read more about first aid courses for schools.

How Many First Aiders Do I Need in a Warehouse?

The number of first aiders in Warehouses could vary depending on the risk level present in the workplace.

In some cases, the number of first aiders required for these areas may increase.

For example, a construction site or factory, which mostly has a high-risk environment, will need one Appointed Person to give emergency assistance to up to 5 employees.

Consequently, you’ll need one first aider, trained with first aid courses, for every 50 members of staff.

In this way, you and your employees are well-prepared in case someone has sudden medical emergencies while an ambulance is still on the way!

Office staff should undertake the 3 day first aid at work course.

How Many First Aiders Do I Need in an Office?

In a low-risk workplace such as an office, the number of first aiders will depend on how many employees are present every work day.

The possible hazards in areas like this are primarily injuries, particular health problems, or fire. There’s a need to conduct a fire risk assessment in these areas.

One appointed person is the minimum legal requirement for every workplace with 25 employees.

If you have more than 50 employees, only one first aider for every 100 employees is the guidance, so if you have 101 employees, you need at least two first aiders.

Some might ask, “how many first aiders are needed if the workplace has shift patterns?” and “what about the lone workers?”.

In cases like this, there must be a personal first aid kit wherever the employees are working. They must also be able to know basic aid training in case they need it.

Office staff should undertake the emergency first aid at work course.

What Are the Different Types of First Aiders?

As per first aid requirements of the First Aid Regulations 1981, every workplace must have first aiders.

A first-aider has undertaken first aid training or a basic first aid course. They must have appropriate first aid skills in case needed. They are the following:

Appointed Person

Appointed persons are in charge of first aid arrangements. This includes looking after the equipment and facilities and calling emergency services.

You can have more than one appointed person depending on the suggested number, after the risk assessment has been conducted in your workplace.

An appointed person is nominated to take charge in case of an absent first aider.

They don’t need formal first aid training; they only need to look after the first aid kit and call an ambulance in an emergency.

First Aider

A trained first aider has undergone proper training and is qualified to give first aid treatment in the event of an injury or illness.

Qualified first aiders have taken first aid courses or work training, enabling them to give emergency assistance when needed.

With immediate medical assistance, you will lessen the risk of serious injuries or fatalities at any workplace.

Emergency First Aider

A first aider must undergo Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) training to recognize and diagnose injuries or particular health problems.

In general, an emergency first aider’s role is to provide adequate emergency first aid and prevent the situation from worsening while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

First Aid Equipment

One of the essential first aid requirements is a first aid box.

First aid kit contents vary according to their particular use. Adequate first aid equipment for low-risk work areas should include these items:

  • Sterile eye bandages
  • Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  • Painkillers and Antiseptic cream
  • Scissors and tweezers, one pair each
  • Combined dressing pads and gauze dressing
  • Triangular bandages and plastic bags of varying sizes
  • Adhesive tape (2.5 cm wide – preferably a permeable tape such as Micropore)
  • Disposable gloves (medium and large), preferably made of non-latex material

First Aid Equipment for High-Risk Workplaces

A first aid kit is not enough for high-risk workplaces, especially in remote and hazardous areas. Alongside basic first aid kits are the following:

  • A properly-stocked first aid kit for construction workers
  • Proper facilities, like dressing stations or a first aid room
  • A vehicle to transport injured construction employees to the medical aid area
  • An adequate system to keep records of any person who has used the first aid kit
  • Efficient communication systems such as a mobile phone to quickly call for help

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now that we’ve discussed the main points about first aid and training, here are some FAQs. You might find the answers helpful.

Does a First Aider Need to Be on Site at All Times?

A first aider is not required to be on every site at all times.

But the company must ensure an appointed person to take care of first aid provisions whenever needed.

What Is the Legal Requirement for First Aiders at Work in the UK?

Every employer in the UK is legally obliged to plan for the provision of first aid at work.

This can be done by having first aiders who have acquired certificates appropriate for this purpose.

Employers must make sure that someone is always available to give or arrange first aid. This applies if the designated first aider is absent for any reason.

How Long Does a First Aid Certificate Last in the UK?

Certificates for first aid at work last for three years.

Once certificates have expired, the first aider is no longer considered competent to act as a workplace first aider.

Before their certificates expire, first-aiders must undergo a requalification training course to obtain another three-year certificate.


While giving all dedication at work, do not forget to ensure your employees’ welfare and safety.

Conduct a full first aid needs assessment and fire risk assessment in your workplace.

Whether in a small office, school, or construction site, you must have appropriate first aid cover in any first aid situations AT ALL TIMES.

Ensure they undergo proper first aid course training and know the basic aid information.

It is better safe than sorry. Equip your employees with primary medical treatment at work and save lives!

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