Proposed First-Aid Changes Unveiled, removes HSE approval for training providers
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013 @ 11:30:26 GMT
Topic: Association News

Cover Image of new First-aid training and qualifications for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made draft guidance available to help employers to understand proposed amendments of the The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 - expected to come into effect 1 October 2013. The proposals include removing the requirement for the HSE to officially approve first aid training providers. 

Peter Brown, Policy Advisor at the Health and Safety Executive, said:

"Removing the HSE approval process will give businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers and first aid training that is right for their work place, based on their needs assessment and their individual business needs.

The draft guidance documents aim to provide practical support to help businesses assess and understand their first aid needs and find a provider best suited to them.

HSE has used the feedback from the recent consultation exercise to shape the guidance, but would welcome any further feedback on the guidance before the regulations come into place."

These changes were recommended by Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt's review, "Reclaiming health and safety for all: An independent review of health and safety regulation"commissioned by Government in March 2011. In the review these changes were recommended: “this requirement seems to have little justification provided the training meets a certain standard” and it was also noted that the HSE approval process went beyond the minimum requirement laid out in EU legislation.

The changes are subject to final approval by both the Health and Safety Executive Board and Ministers - and until 1 October 2013 employers must ensure that they meet current requirements and use HSE approved providers of First-Aid training.

New Draft Guidance

Two draft guidance documents have been developed in advance of these changes to help employers understand what will change and how this will affect their requirements. The first document, "First-aid training and qualifications for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981", including how to make a suitable assessment of first-aid requirements in their workplace and implement necessary provisions and competent personnel. The second document, "Selecting a first-aid training provider", sets out to help businesses select appropriate first-aid training providers to meet their own training requirements under the new (proposed) system.

These requirements will not be in place until final approval and the regulations are approved, but in the meantime the HSE would like to know your views of the draft guidance documents and are inviting comments, feedback and suggestions on these draft first-aid guidance documents.

Existing Arrangements

HSE stress that in the meantime the existing law continues to apply and that all first aid training for the purposes of first aid at work provision must be carried out by an HSE approved training provider or a training centre for an Ofqual accredited awarding organisation supported by HSE to deliver such training (these are listed on the HSE first aid web pages). Similarly, the current edition of L74, ‘First Aid at Work’ (Approved Code of Practice and Guidance) will remain valid and in force until new legislation and associated guidance takes effect.

This article comes from Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA)

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