First Aid Provider Oversight May End in UK

Employers still would have to ensure they have an adequate number of trained first aid staffers as identified in their needs assessment. The earliest the law could change is April 2013.

Britain's Health and Safety Executive has opened a six-week public comment period on a proposal that it stop providing oversight of first aid providers. The agency's board will make a recommendation to ministers about how to proceed after considering the comments.

Comments also are requested on whether the Approved Code of Practice is useful and provides practical advice on how to comply with the law, with HSE planning to provide revised guidance for employers to help them ensure they adopt first aid arrangements suitable to their workplace.

"We believe this amendment to the First Aid Regulations will give businesses greater flexibility," said Andy McGrory, HSE's consultation manager, "in choosing training and providers that are suitable for their workplace. HSE will will continue to set the standards for existing training -- the one day Emergency First Aid at Work and three-day First Aid at Work courses -- which will continue to be the building blocks in all cases where first aid needs assessment shows that training is necessary."

He said employers still would have to ensure they have an adequate number of trained first aid staffers as identified in their needs assessment. The earliest the law could change is April 2013.

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