HSE have announced recent change to requalification requirements for First Aid at Work, and Emergency First Aid at Work certificates.
First Aid at Work or Emergency First at Work certificates that expired after 16th March 2020 can remain valid until 31st October 2020, or six months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31st March 2021.
To qualify for the extension the employer must be able to demonstrate that:
- They have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail (to an inspector, if challenged) why they have not been able to do so. For example, showing evidence that employees with expired certificates are booked on to an appropriate requalification course;
- They have adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities to provide first aid to any employee who becomes injured or ill at work;
- The level of first aid cover provided remains appropriate for their particular work environment;
- The level of first aid provision necessary in high risk settings is fully maintained, e.g. in construction, agriculture or engineering.
When booking a course, employers must ensure that adequate precautions are being taken by the course provider to ensure the safety of their employees attending, such as:
- Anyone who is unwell with the symptoms of Covid-19 are instructed not to attend the course;
- Physical distancing is maintained whenever practicable, except where necessary for the purposes of training and assessment;
- During practical sessions or assessment where it is necessary to come within two metres of other learners, or the instructor, (related to a situation where a first aider, in the current circumstances, may be expected to wear PPE in a real emergency) that appropriate PPE is provided;
- One resuscitation manikin is provided per learner (learners should be encouraged to sanitise it before each use);
- All equipment is regularly cleaned and sanitised;
- Learners are encouraged to wash their hands regularly throughout the session (hand washing and hand sanitising facilities are available).
If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in the above article, please contact Gary Foggo.