RIDDOR, which stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations is the legislation which controls which workplace injuries and illnesses you should report, and how you should report them.
This October has seen the biggest shake-up of First Aid legislation since 1981, with the Health and Safety Executive withdrawing from the approval of first aid courses.
But do you know what it means for you?
In the past, you could be assured that your HSE-accredited training provider had gone through rigorous checks to ensure that they were fit to run first aid courses on your behalf. In a sense, the HSE had already done due diligence on training providers, meaning that you didn’t have to.
As of 1st October, all that has changed.
Training providers can now choose their own path of quality control and accreditation, and you, as the employer, must decide which providers are good enough, and which are not.
Training providers will run courses which are either:
These are operated under rigorous accreditation schemes, recognised by regulators such as Ofqual, the SQA and the Welsh Government.
HTS Training opted to follow this route of accreditation, as we believe that it gives by far the greatest assurance of high standards of training for our customers.
As the name suggests, these are schemes that are operated by a variety of the first aid industry bodies. These bodies have set up their own monitoring and quality control schemes which members are required to abide by.
The Red Cross and St John Ambulance continue to run first aid training courses which are considered to be of suitable quality for employers.
It will be possible for trainers to set up unregulated, and carry out their own quality control.
It will be up to employers to investigate whether their training is of a sufficiently high standard in advance of the training, and to prove this level of due diligence should anything subsequently go wrong.
In all cases, the HSE remains the organisation who sets the syllabus in conjunction with Skills for Health for core first aid at work training courses.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call us on 01234 308 740, or get in touch via our contact page.
Tuesday 24th September 2013.
From October 1st 2013 First aid Regulations are to be amended to reflect the fact that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will no longer be responsible for regulating first aid training within the workplace. However the legal requirement for employers to provide adequate first aid training for employees, according to first aid needs, remains unchanged.
This means that the responsibility of ensuring the quality of first aid training moves to you, the employer.
As an employer, you have the option of obtaining First Aid training from a variety of training providers who offer training through
However, with exception of those offering regulated qualifications, the HSE is not able to verify the quality of courses offered (source: First Aid at Work (Advance Copy) Health & Safety Executive, 2013. Depending on the source of your first aid courses, some due diligence may be required as described below.
Regulated qualifications are nationally recognised and are obtained from training centres for Awarding Organisations (AOs), recognised by qualification regulators (Ofqual, SQA and the Welsh Government). They have dedicated quality assurance processes and monitor and approve training centres to ensure training meets a high standard.
If your first aiders undertake Regulated First Aid Qualifications, the guidance is clear that you DO NOT need to undertake any lengthy due diligence process, as this has been carried out as part of the creation and ongoing accreditation of the course. Regulated Qualifications have the “Ofqual” or “SQA” logo on certificates, so an HSE inspector will accept this for the purposes of the first aid regulations.
HTS Training Ltd has been delivering the new regulated qualifications with very positive feedback from students since the creation of these courses in early 2013. We are a registered centre with Qualsafe Awards, a leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation in first aid.
Some providers will operate through voluntary industry schemes that will set and maintain standards in line with HSE requirements. It is not mandatory for training providers to part of these schemes and some further due diligence will still be required.
These include St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid. The HSE accept these organisations as delivering their training to a sufficient standard, so that no further due diligence evidence will be required.
If you choose a provider who is offering unregulated qualifications then you will need to carry out due diligence to ensure that the training is suitable, meets the content set by the HSE and Skills for Health and that training providers can demonstrate robust quality assurance.
The guidance published by the HSE covers six pages of due diligence (reasonable investigation) that an employer should undertake if they choose unregulated first aid training. This includes checks on the competency of trainers, internal quality assurers and more.
The HSE’s GEIS3 “Selecting a first aid training provider” document gives more details on the exact nature of the due diligence that needs to be carried out, including checking:
For more information, advance copies of “The Health and Safety (First-Aid )Regulations 1981, Regulations and Guidance (L&$) and Selecting a first-aid training provider (GEIS3)’ are now available on the HSE website.
This change has come about in response to ‘Reclaiming Health and Safety for All: An independent review of health and safety legislation’, by Professor Ragnar E Lõfstedt, which was published in November 2011.
Update – 1st October 2013: Changes to first aid regulation came into force from 1st October.
Did you know that modern CPR as we know it has been around for 50 years and has changed a few times over that time period? Those who have attended first aid courses often seem to think that it changes every time that they learn it which is not entirely true. The guidelines change on average every 5 years and yesterday (18 October 2010) new guidelines were published for the 50th anniversary.
Well over 30 000 people a year suffer a cardiac arrest but very few survive due to a variety of reasons, not least an unwillingness on the part of the general public to perform CPR.
In response to the new guidelines the BBC yesterday sensationally “warned” members of the public against giving what they archaically called the “Kiss of Life” unless they have been specifically trained to do so, stating that new guidelines have suggested that this is for the best. Only when you read through the whole article did you get to the part that said that if bystanders are trained in CPR techniques including mouth to mouth (Kiss of life), then this remains the best option.
In my opinion this type of sensationalist journalism, whilst trying to convey the message that any resuscitation attempt is a good thing, only serves to confuse and possibly will make those that have been trained uncertain about which route to take. As such the guidelines that were implemented in 2005 remain essentially the basis for the new current guidelines as seen below.
Let me clarify, those that have been trained i.e. First aiders and those people with a duty of care such as lifeguards and childminders should continue to do mouth to mouth ventilations as part of the sequence shown below (Adult Basic Life Support Algorithm) and are essentially the same as the 2005 guidance with a few minor modifications.
The following will explain why these modifications are necessary.
It is well recognised that initiating the Chain of Survival improves outcomes and leads to more people surviving cardiac arrest.
Basic CPR is unlikely to restart a heart that has stopped beating, but it does help keep blood flowing to the brain and helps keep that functioning so that when a defibrillator is used hopefully the heart will restart.
The chest compression component of CPR is therefore crucial in generating that blood flow. As such although the changes that have been made are fairly minimal from a first aid point of view, emphasis has been made on ensuring that good quality chest compressions are achieved in order to minimise the time spent without blood flowing around the body.
Compressions need to be faster and harder than before. Compressions should now be a rate of 100-120 per minute and should be pushed down to a depth of 5-6 cm.
Changes have also focused on the need to ask for an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) if one is available when calling for help (999). Increasingly theses devices are being found out and about in the big wide world and should be used if at all available. Crucially you now do not have to be trained to have a go at one although obviously it helps. They have been designed to be as simple as possible. You turn them on & follow the instructions.
The newspapers and other media sources have picked up upon the guidance where someone is unwilling to or has never been trained in CPR. Then chest compression only CPR is acceptable, if the emergency services are a short distance away or if you are being instructed over the telephone.
The key thing to take away from all this is to try to save a life, because at the end of the day this is what matters. If you’ve had a little training, call 999 and perform CPR as 30 compressions :2 breaths and if you haven’t, dial 999 follow their instructions keeping on going until the ambulance arrives.
Hopefully you will never need to put your skills to use but if you are ever in such a situation I hope you will try.