17 August 2016
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require all business premises to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work. There is a separate requirement in any dental setting in the UK to ensure that appropriate CPR and medical emergency training has been undertaken by all registered dental professionals as well as other practice staff. The GDC recommends that registrants should undertake training about medical emergencies every year.
In order to comply with the Regulations, the practice must first be assessed as to whether it is a low, medium or high risk environment. A dental practice would probably be assessed as medium risk, bearing in mind the training associated with the roles of the employees.
The minimum first-aid provision on any work site is:
- A suitably stocked first aid box
- An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements
An appointed person is someone who is chosen to:
- Take charge when someone is injured or falls ill, including calling an ambulance if required
- Look after the first aid equipment, e.g. re-stocking the first aid box
However, this role is separate, and over and above, to the requirement for all the staff to participate in regular training for medical emergencies including CPR.
For dental practices assessed as medium risk and employing fewer than 20 people there should be a minimum of one appointed person. If there are more than 20, or the practice is assessed as hazardous, then a first-aider should be appointed.
A first-aider is someone who has undergone a training course in administering first aid at work and holds a current first aid at work certificate, and will need to participate in regular training for medical emergencies including CPR.
These requirements in terms of risk and numbers of employees are suggestions only and not definitive legal requirements. It would be desirable in any event for at least one practice member to have first-aider training, but the qualified first-aider does not need to be on the premises at all times and there is no recommendation to have one for a business with fewer than 20 employees.
Further details are on the HSE website