Think first-aid this festive season

A life-saving charity is giving Comet country businesses an early Christmas present by offering discounts on first aid and fire marshal training courses during the festive period.

St John Ambulance aims to cut the hundreds of workplace fatalities in the UK every year by helping businesses train their staff in live-saving skills. According to their figures, 79 per cent of businesses have periods where there are no trained first aiders present.

Sue Skoyles, regional training manager, said it was vital to have enough first-aiders during the holiday period.

“First aiders could be the most missed employees of all if something goes wrong over Christmas. Businesses can overlook this at times when they operate with a skeleton staff during the festive season. The issue is especially important in small businesses with few employees, where there may be only one first aider. It’s a vital skill but it’s also a legal obligation for businesses.”

All workplaces must comply with Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 which require employers to have adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and staff in place to enable first aid to be given at work. In some cases if there is a fatality because the employer failed to ensure proper health and safety procedures were in place, he or she could be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

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Sue Skoyles added: “St John Ambulance advises businesses to carry out a risk assessment based on their needs, which covers things such as first aider annual leave, the common injuries that happen in your workplace and shift work. The Health and Safety Executive requires that once you’ve identified your first aid needs you must maintain it, so it’s vital that businesses keep this in mind.”

To book a course online go to or call 0844 324 5535.

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