We’ve all read it in the newspapers: Health and safety gone mad.

Well, on some occasions, this is the case, with regulations so stringent it makes work nigh on impossible. However, this is a rarity, and were you to live and work in other countries with more lax regulations, you would suddenly find yourself full of praise for the strictures of the UK health and safety system.

One important area under this branch is First Aid training, which all companies must carry out in the UK. But why is it important?

First and foremost, if a situation necessitates the service of a trained first aider, it means it is serious, and if a health and safety situation has become serious, it generally means someone’s life is in danger. It takes roughly eight minutes (on average, sometimes more) for an ambulance to arrive. As such, it’s vital that those around the injured colleague know how to stabilise their injury as best as possible, in order to increase the likelihood that the ambulance crew, upon arrival, will be able to save that person’s life and/or minimise the severity of their injuries. A good example.

People want to help by nature, but this can lead to more harm in many cases. For example, if a colleague is injured in a car or warehouse vehicle incident, your instinct would be to move them. This is highly ill-advised and may do more damage. Basic first aid training is therefore vital to ensure employees are fully aware of what they can do (and in most cases what they can do is both easily learned and does not require extensive training) to help.

From a company point of view, First Aid training is important first and foremost for the safety of employees, but it can also save money. As training goes, it is not particularly expensive. Fatal injuries aren’t very common in the UK workplace but minor and major injuries are. The more often employees are injured, the more working hours are lost and the more insurance claims submitted. It is therefore in the interest of any employer to carry out a thorough first aid training programme to minimise the risk of employees being off work long term.

When it comes to working with heavy machinery, it is clearly of all the more importance that workers understand what to do in a medical crisis. Certainly, they may be highly trained to use the machinery they do, but this does not mean accidents can’t still happen. With a basic understanding of first aid, both a company and its employees severely reduce the risk of fatalities, major and minor injuries, lengthy insurance procedures and long term absences from work.

For more information regarding First Aid Courses, check out The Safety maintenance Company