For Employers

Find out about First Aid legal requirements for your workplace; ensure you comply with the Health and Safety Act 1981 and HSE guidelines.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 gives employers legal duties to ensure their workplace has adequate First Aid provisions. This applies to all workplaces including those with less than 5 employees and to the self-employed.

Doing your Due Diligence? Surrey First Aid Quality Assurance

So what do you need to do to comply?

Assessment of First Aid needs

The first thing employers need to do is carry out an assessment of their first aid needs. You will need to consider the following things:

  • Hazards – does your work place undertake any hazardous activities?
  • Employees – how many do you have? Do they have any disabilities or health problems?
  • What injuries and illnesses have happened in your workplace before?
  • Do your employees work shifts? – remember you will need first aid provisions at all times people are at work.
  • Are your premises spread out? – you may need first aid provisions for each building, floor etc.
  • Do you have cover for when staff are absent – you may need extra provisions to cover annual leave and unexpected absences.
  • Who else is on your premises? – customers, members of the public? Whilst you have no legal obligation for non-employees the HSE strongly recommends you consider them in your first aid assessment

How many First Aid personnel do I need?

There are 3 types of first aid personnel

  • Appointed person – The person in charge of first aid provision who looks after equipment and calls the emergency services.
  • EFAW Trained – EFAW stands for Emergency First Aid at Work, this is one day (6 hour) course.
  • FAW Trained – FAW stands for First Aid at Work, this is 3 day (18 hour) course.
Level of hazard No. of Employees First aid personnel needed
Low-hazard – e.g. offices, shops and libraries < 25 At least one appointed person
25-50 At least one EFAW trained First Aider
>50 At least one FAW trained First Aider for every 100 people (or part thereof)
Higher-hazard – e.g. light engineering, assembly work, food processing, construction etc <5 At least one appointed person
5-50 At least one EFAW or FAW
>50 At least one FAW trained for every 50 people (or part thereof)

This table tells you how many first aid personnel you need available at any one time. So using your first aid needs assessment you can calculate how many people you need trained in total.


Company A – A shop with 30 employees that has 3 shifts

  • As a low risk workplace with less than 50 employees Company A will need one EFAW trained first aider available at all times
  • If they have 3 shifts they will need one person per shift
  • They will also want to account for staff absences, assuming staff always work the same shifts they will need 2 staff trained on each shift
  • Company A will need 6 people trained in Emergency First Aid at Work

Company B – A construction company with 75 employees

  • As a high risk work place with over 50 people Company B will need one FAW trainer for each 50 people or part thereof, so they will need 2 FAW first aid trainers at all times.
  • They will also want to account for staff absences, the two first aiders may be away at the same time.
  • Company B will need 4 people trained in First Aid at Work

Company C – An office with 50 employees spread equally over two buildings.

  • As a low risk workplace with 50 employees you may think Company C will only need one EFAW first aid at each time. However, as employees are spread over two buildings Company C will need 2 EFAW first aiders at all times.
  • They will also want to account for staff absences, assuming staff always work in the same building, they will need 2 staff trained in each building
  • Company C will need 4 people trainer in Emergency First at Work

These are your minimum legal requirements, however good first aid provisions can literally save lives. We would always encourage you to go above and beyond the bare minimum to ensure your employees are safe. If you are planning an in-house training may also want to think whether you would still meet your requirements were current staff to leave. This may save you having to train new staff a year down the line.

Know what you need?

Individuals or small groups visit our public courses page to see upcoming dates. Groups looking for in-house training send us an enquiry via our group booking enquiry form

If you are still unsure and would like to discuss your first aid requirements with us further, we will always be happy to help! Give us a call on 01483 238 268 or email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Health and Safety Executive  (no date) Legislation available at

Health and Safety Executive (2014) First Aid at Work: Your questions answered, available at