Businesses face prosecution for lack of first aid

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BUSINESSES have been warned they could face prosecution if no first aiders are in place.

St John Ambulance is urging companies across the region to check they are not left without trained first aiders due to staff holidays this summer.

By law, all work places must comply with health and safety regulations whereby employers must have adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and staff to ensure first aid can be given at work.

If there is a fatality because proper procedures were not in place, they could be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

The charity is offering to help businesses check whether they are meeting the statutory requirements via a simple web survey.

St John Ambulance Regional Training Manager Fred Owen said: “More staff are away in summer than any other time of the year, but unfortunately accidents don’t take holidays.

“Employers can unwittingly overlook the fact that their first aiders could be absent when a serious accident happens.

“This can especially be the case in small businesses with very few employees where there may be only one first aider.

“As an organisation we would advise every business to carry out a risk assessment based on their needs, including things such as first aider absence, the injuries that are most likely in workplace and cover for shift work.”

The survey is available at www.sja.org.uk/survey