A third of UK employees fear workplace lacks first aiders

Posted on 17 Sep 2012

A third of UK employees are concerned that there may be insufficient first aid cover in their workplace, according to research from St John Ambulance.

The first aid charity found that many businesses simply aren’t equipped to handle a first aid emergency, with 50% of employers lacking any formal process for assessing first aid needs.

Further to this, 80% of people have found themselves at work with no first aid cover whatsoever.

Richard Evens, director of training and marketing at St John Ambulance, said: “Every employee deserves to feel safe in their working environment and ensuring there are enough first aiders in the event of an emergency is paramount. The fact that over one third of employees fear they don’t have enough first aiders at work is quite concerning.”

According to St John Ambulance, too many people lack the skills to cope in an emergency, with less than 20% knowing even basic first aid, which could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

The survey also revealed that in manufacturing 40% of employees have been present when a colleague needed first aid (although the most accident prone sector was the agricultural, forestry and fishing industry, where almost 30% of workers have lost a colleague to an accident that could have prevented by adequate first aid).

Evens said: “Employers need to remember that one first aider is rarely enough. If that first aider goes on holiday or is taken ill, the workplace is left vulnerable. They should also remember that learning first aid at work doesn’t just make workplaces safer but also benefits family, friends and strangers too with so many first aiders using their skills outside of work.”