Are First Aid Courses an Obligation within the Workplace?
Many businesses prioritise job applicants with first aid courses under their belts – after all, it’s these individuals that can offer emergency treatment in the workplace should the need arise. Without these licensed and qualified staff who have undergone first aid courses such as the HLTAID003, the number of deaths within offices and on work sites would be far larger than it is estimated to be.
Where plenty of people are confused is when establishing whether or not a trained First Responder is an obligation within the workplace. The answer is relatively straight forward in that if a premises employs at least two people, or maintains at least one level of operation (as is the case with office blocks), the need for qualified first aiders is an obligation.
Recent legislation passed by the Australian government dictates that any business with one level or at least two employees must employ at least one first aider per level (or per pair of staff members). For larger offices, such as those with more than 30 members of staff present, it’s recommended that two or more First Responders are present.
What about Private Premises?
Within homes and private properties, there is no obligation whatsoever for an individual to be trained in first aid – but events have demonstrated that it can certainly be an advantage. With the low cost of courses and plenty of grants available to those offering care for loved ones; it makes plenty of sense to undertake this type of training to ensure that at least one person present will be prepared should the worst happen.
Where the obligation comes into play is whenever a building is being used for commercial purposes. For example, if a sole trader working for themselves opted to hire a small office space in Sydney, where they will operate from alone – there is no obligation to pursue training, or to employ someone with experience in first aid.
What is required however, is a suitable emergency kit – but this is the case within any commercial or residential building.
As soon as the sole traders becomes a company and employs another person – either themselves, or their employee will need to be trained in emergency first aid as defined by law. Failure to comply with these legislations can lead to hefty fees and penalties being issued; in many instances amounting to thousands of dollars.
Undertaking first aid training
There are plenty of training companies and specialists out there that are happy to provide training to individuals and groups. Some will be happy to visit a workplace and train an entire team at once, while others may offer educational services within their own premises. The courses themselves range in level, with the first being the cheapest and quickest to pass, and the more extensive ones carrying a higher price tag and requiring a little more effort. In any event, having someone on hand to provide emergency treatment before the paramedics arrive can make a lot of difference – and this is why businesses are obliged to adhere to health and safety protocols in this manner.