Blog

First Aid Series – The First Aid Needs Assessment

The First Aid Needs Assessment

Undertaking a first aid “needs assessment” is a critical part of everyone’s first aid preparation, from the young family to the multi-national business and everywhere in between. In this blog I’m going to introduce you to the concept of a needs assessment & guide you through how to undertake yours.


A good friend of mine had a car crash last year; in the car with him were his wife and two young children. Fortunately none of them were badly injured despite the car being written-off. A few weeks later he called me and asked “what sort of first aid kit should I get?”. My obvious reaction to this was “one that you know how to use”.

There’s no point in having all manner of fancy and technical equipment, if you haven’t got a clue how to use any of it.

So what you need to do is some pre-planning. You need to figure out exactly what you’re likely to come up against, whether it’s grazed knees or crocodile bites, then develop your first aid kit to meet those needs. This is exactly what businesses have to do as well. When you’ve completed this, you can then move on to developing your skills and knowledge.

Naturally there’s some guidance on what should be in a first aid kit. You can read our blog about this here.


Kitchens or crocodiles

A first aid needs assessment must be undertaken by all businesses and woudl be done at home as well
Crocodiles – A hazard or a risk?

So what are you likely to have to deal with? If it’s just cutting your finger while preparing a family meal, then a small first aid kit from a supermarket will probably do. If your kitchen happens to be in a hotel, it won’t.

Ultimately you need to make an assessment of your needs. Your “Needs Assessment”, as they’re called, has to take into account exactly what it is that you’re doing or the nature of work being undertaken. If you’re working in a small office with two colleagues and only doing clerical work, then the potential for you to become injured is fairly slim. If you’re a tree surgeon, then the chances of you becoming injured are definitely higher. So think about what it is that you’re doing and what sort of things have the potential to injure you and how badly.

Here’s the link to the guidance (L74) issued by the Health & Safety Executive that is there to help you comply with the Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. It includes a large section on what you need to do in terms of undertaking your needs assessment.


The first thing to think about are the hazards and risks that you’re like to come up against. A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm (the crocodile). The level of risk associated with the hazard will change depending on what is protecting you from the hazard. If you’ve fed the crocodile this week and it’s safely locked away in its home, then the level of risk is going to be fairly low. If you’ve not fed it for a while and it’s free to roam around, then the level of risk is significantly higher. The hazard itself remains the same as the crocodile is still a crocodile.

When you’re happy that you’ve identified the level of potential risk given the likely hazards, think about your accident history. If you’re really accident prone, then the likelihood is that you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure your safety & that of those around you. Likewise, if you’re doing this for your young family, lack of knowledge and life experience will mean that babies and children are at increased risk of becoming injured while they learn about the dangers around them.

Businesses can do this by referring to their accident books and tracking back to see how many accidents they’ve had over the last month, 6 months or 12 months. This is both good Health and Safety practice and also a key part to compliance with the Management of Health & Safety Regulations.


Consider your location

Mount Snowdon
Snowdonia is a visually stunning place, but it can also be treacherous

By this stage you know what it is that you’re doing, how dangerous it might be & how safe you are normally. That’s great, but where are you going to be doing whatever it is that you’re doing & how far away are the emergency services likely to be?

If you’re undertaking a sponsored hike up Mount Snowdon with a group of unfit 80 year olds and your all planning on trying out sward swallowing and fire walking when you get to the top, then things are probably going to go awry. Getting to the top of Snowdon in the summer is not too bad, assuming that you take the train. However if something were to go wrong, how would help get to you and how long would it take them? Undertaking the same activity on the depths of winter is a different kettle of fish. If it were raining and blowing a gale when one of your party stumbled an twisted an ankle, what sort of shelter would you have available? The cafés are almost certainly going to be closed, so unless you’ve taken something with you, you’re going to be exposed to whatever nature throws at you.

You need to take into consideration whether you’re undertaking remote or lone working. Where these to take place, a business would need to put into place various safety measures to ensure the safety of their employees, so far as reasonably practicable. This is a fundamental requirement of the Health & Safety at Work Act. It’s something that you can do at home as well. If you’re heading out for the day, have your route planned and ensure that someone else has a copy of your planned route including estimated start and finish times. It’s also a good idea to make sure that there is an agreed “if we’re not back by this time, then call in the cavalry” emergency procedure.


Is there anyone there?

The next step is less applicable to the home, but is absolutely critical to business needs assessments. Work patterns, annual leave & sickness absence have to be taken into consideration. There is absolutely no point in having loads of first aid trained staff if they all only work on the day shift with no first aiders working the night shift. Equally, if they all take their lunch or annual leave at the same time, you’re also going to be without a first aider as they shouldn’t be called upon during their breaks, assuming that they’re in the building.

So who are you going to choose to be your nominated first aider? Whoever they are, they should be competent to deal with a range of situations likely to befall your family or colleagues.

Anyone in their first few years of life are likely to gain injuries typical of those still learning and developing their fine and gross motor skills. Falling out of trees, breaking arms, bumping heads & getting meningitis are most likely at this age. So knowing how to recognise and provide first aid for these would be reasonable. Similarly, if the those around you are all middle-late age, having an understanding of heart attacks and dementia might be more prudent.

Something else to consider is where our family or colleagues are located. Are they all together, or separated across different rooms or even buildings? If you’re undertaking a needs assessment for a business then this is a critical part of the assessment. A workforce that’s scattered across a larger work site will mean that you need to consider having several first aid kits (or even first aid rooms) located across the site, close to where your colleagues are working.

You also need to consider whether the venue is shared by other people or organisations. A typical example of this would be a co-worker environment, where there are a number of businesses all working in the same room or building. While they should all have their own first aid provision, there may be a centrally provided first aid resource provided by whomever is hiring out desks to the businesses in the room. On construction sites, the Principal Contractor has to control the site and provide the first aid provision. Where there are businesses working in this way, the Health and Safety executive recommend that there is a written agreement in place to formalise the provision of first aid to an injured worker.


Everyone else?

You may think that we’ve finished, but we haven’t as we need to consider those around us. In terms of a business, we need to make provision for non-employees. A restaurant would need to look after its customers; a primary school, the children. In many of these cases, there can be significantly more customers than staff, so this can have a huge impact on our first aid provision. We’re likely to need more first aiders and a significantly bigger first aid kit, or even several more kits. We might even have to have specialist knowledge of conditions that customers may suffer from.

The range of skills that we may need can be huge. For example, primary & junior schools need to make provision for both the teachers, parents & other staff (adult workplace first aid) as well as the attending children (paediatric first aid). What would it be reasonable for your business to provide?


Summary

While this list certainly isn’t exhaustive, it should give you a good starting point to work out exactly what it is that you need in terms of being able to provide first aid to your family, colleagues or clients.

Don’t forget, you need to review your first-aid needs assessment & the provisions that you’ve made periodically. Personally I do this annually. You also need to review it after any operating changes to ensure that your provision remains appropriate for your needs. So when I bring in a new course, I review it again. The Health & Safety Executive recommend that to help with this, you keep a record of all the incidents that your first-aiders have dealt with. (This (having an accident book) is actually a requirement of the Management of Health & Safety Regulations 2006).

Good luck!

Evacuation Chairs – What you need to know.

Evacuation Chairs – What you need to know.

Evacuation Chair Training
Evacuation Chair Training
Chris Garland
Chris Garland

In this blog post I’m going to talk about evacuation chairs. There are lots of makes and models of evacuation chair on the market. You have probably already seen some in publicly accessible buildings such as hospitals, hotels, sports grounds and arenas; I’ve even seen one in my local Costa Coffee shop. In which case you might be wondering what an evacuation chair does, who it’s for and how you use it? So let’s start with the basics.

 

What is an emergency evacuation chair?

Put simply, an evacuation chair is a mechanical means of transporting somebody out of a building or to a safe place. Much of this movement will be down stairwells, but you might also need to transfer the person along corridors as well.

Generally speaking, evacuation chairs are made from lightweight steel and have rubber tracks attached to the back of them along with wheels at the front. The tracks are used to slide along the nose of stairs and create friction within the chair mechanism, allowing the chair to descend the stairs in a safe and controlled way. Some models even employ the use of electric motors to power the chair down flights of stairs and along corridors.

The chairs wheels are then used to move the chair when travelling along a flat surface, such as the corridor leading to or from the staircase. You might have also seen another design of chair being used to evacuate people from buildings such as the type employed by ambulance crew. Technically these aren’t evacuation chairs, but patient transfer chairs and require a minimum of two people to operate them safely as well as the use of manual handling techniques.

Evacuation chairs are generally only used when;

  • there is a fire within the building,
  • there’s an explosion or terrorist attack,
  • there’s been significant storm damage to the building, or
  • as a result of a service failure (e.g. lifts, escalators, etc).
Typical warning sign located beside and within lifts.

Naturally you shouldn’t use the buildings lifts during a fire and most lifts are programmed to descend to the ground floor when the fire alarm is activated.

Evacuation chairs are typically used for transporting:

  • those who are mobility impaired,
  • those with visual impairment,
  • pregnant ladies,
  • asthmatic people,
  • the elderly,
  • those with hearing impaired (can affect balance),
  • people with heart conditions,
  • the injured,
  • infants,
  • people with a temporary impairment (e.g. inebriated customers in a stadium, assuming their transport does not put the chair operator at disproportionate risk).

 

Do I need to help people out of the building in an emergency?

Yes you do. The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Section 2(1) places a general duty on employers to “ensure, so far as reasonable practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees”. This duty also extends to visitors and contractors.

If we look at the example of building fire, in England and Wales, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, identifies a specific role known as the “Responsible Person”. This person is responsible for fire safety at a businesses or other non-domestic premises.

Non-domestic premises are defined within the Order as being;

  • all workplaces and commercial premises,
  • all premises where the public have access,
  • the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings.

 

The Responsible Person.

The Responsible Person will either be;

  • the employer, or
  • the owner, or
  • the landlord, or
  • an occupier, or
  • anyone else with control of the premises, for example a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 also applies when you have paying guests, for example if you run a bed and breakfast, a guest-house or let a self-catering property.

Where there is more than one “responsible person”, they have to work together to meet their responsibilities (e.g. in a shared office building). Where there are common or shared areas, the responsible person will be the landlord, freeholder or managing agent.

The “Responsible Person” is legally required to;

  • carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly,
  • tell staff or their representatives about the risks they’ve identified,
  • put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures,
  • plan for an emergency (i.e. create an Emergency Evacuation Plan and where appropriate a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan for disabled people),
  • provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training.

It’s estimated that there are over 7.5 million people within the UK aged between 16 and 64 who have some form of disability. As such any premises where there is a likelihood that people who may need assistance in evacuation from the building, the responsible person may determine that investment in an evacuation chair and the training to use it safely is the preferred means of evacuation for those people.

 

Evacuation Chairs

Evacuation Chair Sign
Evacuation Chair Sign

There are many different makes and models of evacuation chair on the market, one of the most popular being the Evac+Chair 300H which has been around for many years now & is available is several different versions. You’ve probably seen some of them hung on walls before; it’s the one with the blue metal frame and the soft yellow plastic dust cover draped over the top, like the one below.

Evac+Chair 300H

One thing that does need to be remembered is that evacuation chairs are only there to take people down stairs; they can’t be used to go upstairs, despite what some manufacturers claim! So once you’ve taken somebody down in the chair, it has to be carried back up the stairs again. The easiest way to do this is to fold them up again.

 

What do I need to know about evacuation chairs?

First and foremost, evacuation chairs need to be sited reasonably close to the staircase where they will be used, or near to the individual who will be travelling in the chair.

As you can imagine, for the average employee, the prospect of controlling the descent a colleague (or complete stranger) who may weigh well in excess of 10 stone, down a flight of stairs in an evacuation chair can be a daunting prospect. Now put yourself in the position of the person being evacuated, and the thought of being potentially manhandled into something that resembles a wheeled deckchair with tank tracks on the back can be terrifying.

That’s why having proper training of staff and volunteers is an absolute necessity as well as a legal requirement. (Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998)

So if you’ve not been trained in how to use an evacuation chair, you shouldn’t be using one.

In addition to manual handling training, evacuation chairs are classified as a Class 1 medical device under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). As such the Responsible Person has a legal obligation to ensure adequate staff training as well as annual servicing of the evacuation chair by a qualified and insured service engineer. Without this they are leaving themselves open to prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.

 

Training for you & your colleagues.

We offer both an in-house evacuation chair user & assistant training courses as we’ll shortly be offering an accredited evacuation chair “train the trainer” course. Both of these courses run at our training centre and nationwide at your own place of work.

Many clients prefer to have their colleagues trained in their own premises using their own evacuation chairs, as this provides staff with hands-on knowledge of the available equipment. This is perhaps the ideal scenario for clients as it will promote team working as well as giving the staff confidence in the equipment and their own abilities.

If you’d like us to use your evacuation chairs during training, we just need to see a copy of the maintenance certificates for the chairs. This should have been issued by a competent service engineer within the preceding 11 month period. Unfortunately, if the evacuation chairs haven’t been serviced in the last 11 months, for insurance reasons we can’t use them during the course, so would have to use our own chairs which might be slightly different and for which there is a small charge.

 

So who & how many people should be trained?

Our courses are designed for those with no prior experience of using evacuation chairs. What we would say though is that a reasonable level of physical fitness & strength is required to use the chairs safely (despite what some manufacturers claim!).

Evacuation chair operators of a petite stature (under approx 5’5″/165cm) tend to ensure a swift delivery of the evacuee to the bottom of the stairs & as such may prefer to be certified as an evacuation chair assistant rather than operator. Those with back problems, mobility issues or who have a nervous disposition will probably find this course challenging, so might not be your first choice for training.

The answer to how many people should be trained isn’t quite so easy to answer. If you have someone permanently residing within the building (e.g. residential premises) who would need assistance evacuating the building, then you’d need sufficient trained personnel to assist that person. Depending on that person they may require one, two or more people. You’d also need to think about shift patterns, holidays, lunch breaks, etc. and have that many trained personnel on site at all times. Similarly, numbers of trained personnel will also depend on the size of the premises and distribution of the workforce & visitors, etc.

Also, is it really reasonable to expect members of staff to return into a building to assist multiple evacuees?

Although somewhat out of date (making reference to the Disability and Discrimination Act 1995 which was repealed in 2010 when replaced by the Equality Act 2010), the Fire Safety Supplementary Guide “Means of escape for disabled people” (2013) does provide a lot of information which is still current and very useful when planning escape methodologies for employees, visitors, contractors and residents.

I highly recommend that you make reference to this document & its related fire safety risk assessment documents (links below), when devising your building evacuation plans.

Offices and shops (ISBN-13:9781851128150)
Factories and warehouses (ISBN-13:9781851128167)
Sleeping accommodation (ISBN-13:9781851128174)
Residential care premises (ISBN-13:9781851128181)
Educational premises (ISBN-13:9781851128198)
Small and medium places of assembly (ISBN-13:9781851128204)
Large places of assembly (ISBN-13:9781851128211)
Theatres, cinemas and similar premises (ISBN-13:9781851128228)
Open air events and venues (ISBN-13:9781851128235)
Healthcare premises (ISBN-13:9781851128242)
Transport premises and facilities (ISBN-13:9781851128259)

 

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

I genuinely hope that you’ve found this blog post helpful and informative. If you’ve enjoyed this post or have any questions, please feel free to leave a reply below.

To arrange training for yourself and your colleagues, simply book your places on an open course (at our training centres) or contact us to enquire about arranging training at your premises.

 

Fire Safety Series – The Fire Safety Logbook

Fire Safety Blog Series – The Fire Safety Logbook

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

This week, as part of my fire safety blog series, I’m looking into the Fire Safety Log book. If you’ve never heard of a fire safety log book, you may well be wondering what one is, what they’re for & whether you need one. So let’s start from first principals.


What is a Fire Safety Log Book?

Put simply, the fire safety log book is a loose leaf record of everything to do with the buildings fire safety systems. It must be available at your non-domestic premises, at all times that you’re open for business & should remain on the premises at all times. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 200, the log book must also be available for inspection by an Officer of the Fire & Rescue Service while they undertake an inspection of your premises. It should also be available to view by relevant employees or any service engineer as required.

Legal requirements.

I was recently asked whether the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 only applied to businesses over a certain size. Well, the simplest way to determine whether the Order applies to you is by looking at the Order itself and the interpretations that it includes. It states that;

“In this Order [a] “workplace” means any premises or parts of premises, not being domestic premises, used for the purposes of an employer’s undertaking and which are made available to an employee of the employer as a place of work and includes—
(a) any place within the premises to which such employee has access while at work; and
(b) any room, lobby, corridor, staircase, road, or other place—
(i) used as a means of access to or egress from that place of work; or
(ii) where facilities are provided for use in connection with that place of work,
other than a public road;”

So from this it’s pretty clear that unless you work from home or a vehicle, your workplace falls under the remit of the Order.

Now technically there is no legal requirement for you to have a fire safety log book, but the Responsible Person does need to be able to prove to the inspecting Officer that they’ve been undertaking regular checks of the fire safety systems, etc. They also need to be able to prove this to a Health and Safety/Environmental Health Inspector should they ask to see it. So it just makes sense to have all this information in one place.

Whenever there is an inspection, testing or maintenance of any of the fire safety items within a premises, the log book must be updated. The fire safety log book should record regular checks and record findings on the following:

  • ensuring that all escape routes are clear and the floor is in a good state of repair,
  • that all fire escapes can be opened easily,
  • that all fire alarm systems are working
  • the emergency lighting is working
  • all fire doors close correctly and in good working order
  • all fire exit signs are in the right place
  • the training and fire drill log

It should also be used to record any faults in the buildings’ systems and fire fighting equipment.

Let’s look at each of these areas in more depth.


Escape Routes

Typical fire escape route in a modern office building (note electromagnetic door stop).

Naturally, all escape routes from your premises must be properly maintained and kept free from obstruction at all times.

A regular inspection should be carried out to ensure that all:

  1. doors that are on escape routes can be opened easily without the use of a key or special procedure.
  2. escape routes, including staircases, corridors, doorways, etc. are free from obstruction.
  3. self-closing devices fitted to doors should be effective in operation.
  4. doors fitted with automatic door release mechanisms should be tested in conjunction with tests of the fire alarm system.
  5. walls, doors, floors and glazing, which are required to stop the passage of fire and smoke should be inspected to ensure that the fire and smoke resistance is being maintained. (I.e. that there are no holes in walls and floors, there’s no broken glazing, that fire resistant doors are not damaged and that smoke seals touch the door and frame continuously as appropriate, etc.).

Fire Alarm and Automatic Fire Detection Systems

Typical Fire Alarm Panel

The “Responsible Person” should appoint a competent person to carry out any necessary work to maintain the fire system in correct working order. This includes the keeping of maintenance and testing records. Such a person should be suitably qualified and have received adequate training from the manufacturer, supplier or installer of the fire alarm system.

The following tests/inspections should be carried out as a minimum, alongside any other tests recommended by the manufacturer, supplier or installer of the fire system.

Weekly Test

The system should be tested weekly week using a different call point each time. This ensures sequential testing of all call points’. It is recommended that each call point is identified and the identification recorded in this register following the test. Testing at the same time on the same day each week is not recommended as it breeds complacency with users of the building.

Periodic Inspection and Testing:

The responsible person should ensure that the time between inspections is based on a risk assessment but in any case, should not exceed 6 months. A comprehensive check and test sequence should be carried out by a competent person, in accordance with the current standards (e.g. the British Standard for Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings BS5839 Pt1).

Electrically Controlled Door Release Mechanisms

In premises where electrically controlled door release mechanisms are used, they should be tested weekly in conjunction with the fire alarm test. This is to ensure their correct operation on actuation of the alarm. These devices should also be tested by operating the manual release mechanism to ensure it works satisfactorily.

False Alarms

Every actuation of the fire alarm should be recorded in the logbook, including false alarms. The cause of the alarm should be recorded together with any action taken to avoid a repeat occurrence. This will enable the alarm system to be managed in accordance with BS5839 & these records will also assist the service engineer to maintain the system.

Any maintenance of the fire alarm and automatic fire detection system, which necessitates the system being inoperative for any period, must be carried out at a time when the building is unoccupied, unless suitable temporary arrangements are put in place.


Fire Fighting Equipment

Image of several fire extinguishers. Caption says; Do you know which fire extinguisher to use?
Do you know which fire extinguisher to use?

The annual inspection, service and maintenance of portable extinguishers must be carried out by a Competent Person in accordance with the relevant part of the current standard for “Fire Extinguishing Installations and Equipment in Premises”, BS5306, Part 3, and in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.

Alongside this, Fire Marshals should routinely inspect them as part of their day to day duties. A regular inspection of all extinguishers should be carried out to ensure that they are in their appropriate position.

Satisfactory annual tests should be recorded on a label on each extinguisher or alternatively in a register used solely for this purpose with each extinguisher being identified by number.


Emergency Lighting

Emergency Lighting
Emergency Lighting

Regular servicing of emergency lighting systems is essential. The Responsible Person should carry out (or appoint a Competent Person to carry out) the inspections detailed below.

Monthly emergency lighting tests

All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly. The period of simulated failure should be sufficient for the purpose of this test while minimising damage to the system components, e.g. lamps. During this period, all luminaires and signs should be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly.

Annual emergency lighting tests

A test for the full rated duration of the emergency lights (e.g. 3 hours) must be carried out. The emergency lights must still be working at the end of this test. The results of the test must be recorded and, if failures are detected, these must be remedied as soon as possible.


Fire doors

Fire doors must be checked periodically (at least every 6 months to ensure that the intumescent strips are intact and not damaged. The function of these strips cannot be tested without their destruction. The doors should be self closing and seal well against the door frame.


Records of training and fire drills

Landlords must apply and enforce a policy which allows the effective management of the common areas to ensure fire safety is maintained. In particular, the common areas must not be used for either storage of combustible materials or any obstructions that can impede evacuation.

Fire evacuation drills should be conducted at least once a year. The results of the evacuation can then be analysed to determine where additional training is required.

Training

All employees must receive instruction and training to ensure that they understand the fire precautions in the building and the actions to take in the event of fire. Any special needs for those less able must be taken into account. This information should include explanation of the working of the fire detection system and the need for good housekeeping, such as keeping escape routes clear of combustible materials. All regular building users (and in some cases all visitors & contractors) should be trained on the following;

  • The items listed in your emergency plan.
  • Importance of fire doors.
  • Basic fire prevention measures.
  • Appropriate use of firefighting equipment.
  • Importance of reporting to the assembly area.
  • Exit routes and the operation of exit devices, including physically walking these routes.
  • General matters such as permitted smoking areas or restrictions on cooking other than in designated areas.
  • Assisting disabled persons where necessary.

Fire Marshal training

This is a comprehensive training course and covers the following subject areas;

  • Detailed knowledge of the fire safety strategy of the premises.
  • Awareness of human behaviour in fires.
  • How to encourage others to use the most appropriate escape route.
  • How to search safely and recognise areas that are unsafe to enter.
  • The difficulties that some people, particularly if disabled, may have in escaping and any special evacuation arrangements that have been pre-planned.
  • Additional training in the use of firefighting equipment.
  • Reporting of faults, incidents and near misses.
Chris Garland
Chris Garland

I genuinely hope that you’ve found this blog post helpful and informative. If you’ve enjoyed this post or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.


Responder courses – FREC, FPOS or Something else?

Responder courses – FREC, FPOS or Something Else?

If you “do” first aid, whether as a volunteer first responder or an event medic, then these are terms that you’ve probably heard of before. They’re acronyms relating to various first aid qualifications that are more advanced than the standard First Aid at work course. But what’s the difference?

In a nutshell, the syllabus of each is broadly similar, having being designed to meet the requirements of the Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) skills framework at descriptor level C or above.

However, where they differ is in their ownership. Each of the courses are owned by different Ofqual regulated Awarding Organisation. Each have developed their own courses to meet a particular standard. Once written & approved by the necessary authorities, they then offer them to the market via approved training centres. It’s then down to the course candidates to choose which course they’d like to go on.


QNUK Approved Centre
Centre Number: 15130

At Chris Garland Training, we only offer regulated courses owned by Qualifications Network UK (QNUK). We’re really happy with the courses that they offer; so much so that we continue to be instrumental in developing several of their courses with them.

We’ve previously partnered with another training company to offer the Qualsafe Awards Level 3 Award in First Responder Emergency Care (RQF) (FREC3) course. However, we want to remain solely with QNUK. As such we’ve expanded our trainer base to be able to offer the QNUK equivalent course. Many people have remarked that they feel the QNUK course is superior given it’s course content (see below).


The QNUK Level 3 Award for First Responders (RQF)

This responder course is aimed at those that require an advanced level of competence in First Aid. Candidates undertaking the qualification include security operatives, close protection operatives, event medics and industrial first aiders.

The course contains a minimum of 24 hours of tutor lead instruction (i.e. 4 days), with 6 hours of homework to be done before or during the course. This makes the total qualification time (TQT) 30 hours. Assessment is, as you would imagine, by both practical assessment & a multiple-choice question paper. To pass the course candidates must gain 100% in the practical assessment and 80% in the multiple-choice question paper.

Given that the course can be completed within 4 days, it’s become a firm favourite with members of the security industry; whether Close Protection officers, prison guards & other workplace security officers. More on that below.

Alongside all those things that you’d expect to find on this course, the syllabus includes;

  • Knowledge of the capabilities of different emergency services personnel.
  • Effective communication with others at an incident.
  • Ways to safeguard vulnerable people.
  • Common mental health conditions.
  • Scene safety management.
  • Safe manual handling of patients.
  • Casualty assessment including vital signs.
  • Providing supplemental oxygen & the use of pulse oximetry.
  • How to undertake casualty history.
  • Manual In-line Stabilisation (MILS).
  • Clearing & maintaining a casualties airway with suction, jaw-thrust, oropharyngeal & nasopharyngeal adjuncts.
  • Assessing and dealing with catastrophic haemorrhage.
  • Management of common trauma injuries, including spinal & pelvic.
  • Sepsis.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA)

If you do work in the Security industry, the Security Industry Authority only make first aid training stipulations for close protection operatives. Their website currently (Nov 2019) stipulates that CP operatives must “have attained a full level 3 first aid award (not a one day emergency first aid qualification).” Unfortunately this statement is misleading & causing confusion within the industry as the emergency first aid at work qualification changed from level 2 to level 3 back in October 2017 (click for info) despite the SIA webpage being updated in April 2018. SIA don’t currently require any first aid training for any of the other Licensable Roles.

At the end of the day, so long as you can meet the training requirements as laid down by the Security Industry Authority, whatever first aid training course you attend is ultimately down to you and the results of your first aid needs assessment. We’ve written a blog about the needs assessment that’s there to help guide you through undertaking your own assessment.

Our Opinion

We wrote this blog to help people like you understand the differences between the courses that are available on the market. We feel that QNUK have significantly raised the benchmark with their Responder course in terms of what is taught at this level. This is borne out by others in the industry, notably Real First Aid in their highly detailed assessment of these types of courses. You can read their assessment here. As you’ll see, they’ve also chosen to offer the QNUK course, over other available courses.

Please note, we have no connections with Real First Aid, other than that both companies offer courses owned and accredited by Qualifications Network UK (QNUK).

So if, like me, you’ve done a similar responder type of course in the past, you’re probably thinking that you’d like to do this course when your existing certificate expires.

We are running these courses roughly every 3 months through 2020. So check out when your certificate expires, & book your place now.

First Aid Series – Which First Aid Kit Do I Need?

First Aid Series – Which First Aid Kit Do I Need?

  • What should be in a first aid kit 2019?
  • Is there a standard list of items in a first aid box?
  • What should be in a first aid kit at work UK?
  • Which first aid kit should I buy?

We’re always being asked about first aid kits & what people should have in them. Whether it’s for personal use, for vehicle or motorcycle use, shop floor, school or outdoor use, the possibilities of what you might choose to have in them is seemingly endless.

Crepe bandages, ambulance dressings, HSE dressings, plasters, finger stalls, shears, tweezers, neck collars, spine boards or stretchers? What about just having a fully equipped ambulance on standby?

And don’t forget the triangular bandages!

If you spend a couple of minutes browsing the internet, you’ll either be confused about what you should buy, or excited/scared about what you could buy. But what exactly do you need? In this blog post we aim to answer just that.

Contents:

What do you really need?

If I was a salesman I’d tell you that you need to have our new super-dooper first aid kit that’s been designed exactly for your industry & that it’s only available at this price for the next 5 minutes. I’d tell you that you needed at least one per room and probably one per random quantity of people as well.

However the correct answer is devilishly simple; you know your business/activity best, so what do you think you might need?

Yes, there is official guidance on the contents of first aid kits in the form of British Standards (jump to section). Yes there are a myriad of different pre-made kits out there, just waiting for your purchasing department to order for you. But really what you need is something that will deal with whatever incidents you think that you might have to deal with. And be pragmatic about it. If you work with kids, what sort of injuries are they likely to have? If you work with chainsaws, what are you likely to have to deal with?

Yes, the Health and Safety at Work Act states that you have to do what is reasonably practicable, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend every penny that you have. Merely that you need to do what is reasonable. If it’s reasonable to foresee a certain injury, then spend the cash now & get the appropriate first aid materials and training to deal with that injury.

Basically, analyse your business/activity, thinking about who could be harmed and by what and how likely is that it might happen. Refer back to your accident records books to get a trend for injuries. What you’re doing is undertaking a first aid needs assessment, and this will guide you in developing your own bespoke first aid materials shopping list. When you’ve done that, either build your own kit, or buy the nearest available version, adding the extras that you think that you need if required. Simple


British Standards Guidance

Back in 2011 the British Standards Institute issued standard guidance on what should & should not be included within a workplace first aid kit. The guidance was only ever meant to be a best practice recommendation, as all businesses were (& still are) required, under Health and Safety legislation, to undertake a “needs assessment” to determine exactly what they should have in their own, bespoke first aid kit.


Read more about undertaking your first aid needs assessment here.


Naturally, most businesses chose to follow the British Standard and purchased typical first aid kits for their size & type of workplace. This meant that manufacturers had free reign to create “BS8599 compliant” first aid kits for this, that and the other leading to vast amounts of confusion. Then, just 4 years later, a working group was tasked to reassess the contents of the BS 8599-1:2011 workplace first aid kit, to see whether changes to the recommendations should be made.

Thankfully, workplaces haven’t changed that much since 2011. However, the overall threat to life and limb from terrorist activities certainly has. Because of this the working group reacted to this by creating a specific first aid kit to deal with these incidents.

In recent years the Health and Safety Executive have changed the syllabus of workplace first aid courses to include training candidates in the use of tourniquets & haemostatic dressings. This has come about as a result of the increased knowledge relating to the initial medical treatments required for major trauma victims, such as those caught in terrorist blasts & shootings. Sadly, as ever, major developments in medical knowledge are spurred ahead by the need to deal with those caught up in conflict and war zones.

We now have the new British Standard BS 8599-1:2019, which came into effect on 31st January 2019 & relates to the specification of first aid kits for use in the workplace. The existing British Standards (BS 8599-1:2011) weren’t withdrawn until 31st December 2019, as this allowed an overlap period for manufacturers & vendors to sell off their 2011 compliant first aid kits.


First Aid Equipment

First Aid Kits (after January 2019)

The 2019 Standard introduced new first aid kits and renamed others & made a few changes to the contents of each. We now have these as possible options;

BS8599:1-2019 is applicable to static workplaces, such as offices, shops, factories, schools, etc. The part of the Standards that deals with workplace vehicles (buses, taxi’s, etc) hasn’t changed, so you simply need to follow the original BS 8599:2-2014 for those.

Now let’s go through each of these so that we can see what should be included in each of those kits.

Personal Issue First Aid Kit

The personal issue first aid kit is to be issued to first aiders, should their employers assess that it would be prudent or necessary in light of their job role (e.g. security personnel, cleaners, maintenance personnel).

  • Guidance leaflet – 1
  • Contents label – 1
  • Large sterile dressing (18 x 18cm) – 1
  • Triangular bandage – 1
  • Sterile adhesive dressing – 10
  • Alcohol free moist wipes – 4
  • Nitrile disposable gloves – 2 pairs
  • Resuscitation face shield – 1
  • Foil blanket – 1
  • Shears – 1

Small First Aid Kit

This is the typical workplace first aid kit for small offices, small shops, hairdressers, etc.

  • Guidance leaflet – 1
  • Contents List – 1
  • Medium sterile dressing – 2
  • Large sterile dressing – 2
  • Triangular bandage – 2
  • Eye pad sterile dressing – 2
  • Sterile adhesive dressing – 40
  • Alcohol free moist wipes – 20
  • Adhesive Tape roll – 1
  • Nitrile disposable gloves – 6 pairs
  • Finger sterile dressing – 2
  • Resuscitation face shield – 1
  • Foil blanket – 1
  • Burns dressing – 1
  • Shears – 1
  • Conforming bandage – 1

Medium First Aid Kit

Got a few more people working with you? You’ll need a bigger first aid kit.

  • Guidance leaflet – 1
  • Contents List – 1
  • Medium sterile dressing – 4
  • Large sterile dressing – 3
  • Triangular bandage – 3
  • Eye pad sterile dressing – 3
  • Sterile adhesive dressing – 60
  • Alcohol free moist wipes – 30
  • Adhesive Tape roll – 2
  • Nitrile disposable gloves – 9 pairs)
  • Finger sterile dressing – 3
  • Resuscitation face shield – 1
  • Foil blanket – 2
  • Burns dressing – 2
  • Shears – 1
  • Conforming bandage – 2

Large First Aid Kit

If you have lots of employees, or lots of visitors, or you work in a high risk workplace with only a few employees, you’ll need a large first aid kit. Check the “So what should I buy” section below as well.

  • Guidance leaflet – 1
  • Contents List – 1
  • Medium sterile dressing – 6
  • Large sterile dressing – 4
  • Triangular bandage – 4
  • Eye pad sterile dressing – 4
  • Sterile adhesive dressing – 100
  • Alcohol free moist wipes – 40
  • Adhesive Tape roll – 3
  • Nitrile disposable gloves – 12 pairs
  • Finger sterile dressing – 4
  • Resuscitation face shield – 2
  • Foil blanket – 3
  • Burns dressing – 2
  • Shears – 1
  • Conforming bandage – 2

Travel & Motoring First Aid Kit

The old travel first aid kit has been replaced with the new travel & motoring kit. It’s been specifically created to match the medium sized BS8599-2 compliant Vehicle and Motoring First Aid Kit.

  • Guidance leaflet – 1
  • Contents List – 1
  • Medium sterile dressing – 1
  • Triangular bandage – 1
  • Sterile adhesive dressing – 10
  • Alcohol free moist wipes – 10
  • Nitrile disposable gloves – 2 pairs
  • Resuscitation face shield – 1
  • Foil blanket – 1
  • Burns dressing – 2
  • Shears – 1
  • Adhesive dressing (7.5 x 7.5cm) – 1
  • Trauma dressing – medium (10 x 18 cm) – 1

Critical Injury First Aid Kit

Perhaps the most distressing, but sensible addition to the Standard is that of the new critical injury first aid kit. This, the Standard suggests, is typically for use by those who “work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, cutting equipment, power tools, construction, agriculture, forestry, etc.”

The guidance goes on to suggest that; “Appropriate numbers of this pack should be stored, in line with the risks assessed. Employers should take into consideration the maximum number of people on site at any one time.” “In addition, following a risk assessment, an employer might consider storing appropriate quantities of critical injury packs to be equipped to deal with injuries to employees or the public resulting from acts of terrorism or other mass casualty incidents.

As far as I can remember, this is the first time terrorism and mass casualty incidents have been mentioned before in regular (non-specialist) first aid guidance issued in the UK. From having spoken to manufacturers of these types of critical injury packs, I can confirm that there are hundreds, if not thousands of them already distributed around the UK at places where large numbers of people gather.

  • Guidance leaflet – 1
  • Contents List – 1
  • Nitrile disposable gloves – 2 pairs
  • Foil blanket – 1
  • Burns dressing – 0
  • Trauma dressing – medium (10 x 18 cm) – 1
  • Trauma dressing – large (15 x 18 cm) – 2
  • Haemostatic dressing – 2
  • Tourniquet – 1

Having the kit is one thing; knowing how to use it is another. If you’re considering investing in Critical Injury First Aid Kits, you’d be well advised to attend our Critical Injury Responder Course, where you’ll learn how to use the contents of the kit and so much more.

You’ll learn about the types of injury you might find & how to treat them using the contents of a Critical Injury First Aid Kit. The 6 hour course is delivered in such a way as to bolster your first aid knowledge. You won’t be bombarded by technical jargon; just simple, clear and concise information. We include plenty of practice time to make sure that your hands remember what to do should you be faced with a critical injury, because your memory will take a few seconds to catch up.


Traumafix Military Field Dressing - When you've a major bleed to deal with, and a traditional ambulance dressing just isn't going to cut it, you need a military field dressing and this is the best that we've found.
The “Traumafix” Trauma Dressing – a very-stretchy elasticated pressure bandage allowing direct pressure to be applied quickly and maintained easily.

Helpfully, the Standard also provides some definitions as to all the elements of the new kits. While some are pretty obvious, others need some clarification.

  • Trauma Dressing (Large): “A pressure bandage measuring a minimum of 15cm x 400cm (stretched length) and conforming to BS 7505:1995 (specification for the elastic properties of flat, non- adhesive, extensible fabric bandages) type 3B with a wound pressure pad not less than 15cm x 18cm of at least 500g/m2, with a low adherent wound contact surface.”
  • Trauma Dressing (Medium): “A pressure bandage measuring a minimum of 10cm x 400cm (stretched length) and conforming to BS 7505:1995 (specification for the elastic properties of flat, non- adhesive, extensible fabric bandages) type 3B with a wound pressure pad not less than 10cm x 18cm of at least 500g/m2, with a low adherent wound contact surface.”
  • Haemostatic Dressing: “A medical device for use on severe wounds to significantly shorten bleeding times through the accelerated promotion of clotting. Can be presented as a roll, sheet, ribbon, gauze, foam, powder, wool, or as part of another dressing.”
  • Tourniquet: An emergency haemorrhage control device, applied to a limb, with a mechanism to control the application and release of pressure, utilising a windlass, pneumatic compression or form of mechanical advantage to fully occlude blood flow and stop catastrophic blood loss.”

Attend our Critical Injury Responder course to learn how to use the contents of the new Critical Injury First Aid kits. (click for more details).


So what should I buy?

Before we go any further, it would be good to remind ourselves of exactly what the Standards recommend in terms of workplaces and quantities of first aid kits, so here it is;

Category of HazardNumber of people on siteQuantity & size of first aid kit
Low HazardFewer than 25Qty 1 small kit
(e.g. shops, offices, libraries, etc) 25-100Qty 1 medium kit
More than 100Qty 1 large kit per 100 employees
High HazardFewer than 5Qty 1 small kit
(e.g. light engineering & assembly work, food processing, warehousing, etc)5-25Qty 1 medium kit
More than 25Qty 1 large kit per 25 employees

Appendix A of the Standard also states that “where there are special circumstances, such as remoteness from emergency medical services, shift work or sites with several separate buildings, the quantity of first aid kits should be increased as appropriate.”


Our thoughts.

At the end of the day, whatever you have will be better than nothing. That said, the Law requires you to be proactive, so you need to have something rather than nothing. The Law also states that you need to assess what you think you need to deal with as this will guide you in your selection of a first aid kit.

Ultimately what you choose to have is down to you. There is no right or wrong answer. But if something does go wrong & the HSE get involved, one of the first things that they will ask is to see your first aid kit. If your kit wasn’t remotely suitable for the foreseeable hazards & risks, they they have every right to come down on you like the proverbial “tonne of bricks”.

Remember: a hazard is the “thing”, while the risk is the likelihood of the thing injuring someone. A pet tiger is a hazard. Having fed the tiger and locked it in a room away from us reduces the risk. if the tiger hasn’t been fed this week and is roaming around, the risk is somewhat higher!

The Dechoker

The Dechoker

The Dechoker
The Dechoker

Today we have been made aware by the UK suppliers of the amazing Dechoker that they can now only be sold into the Adult Social Care market. This includes Care Homes, Nursing Homes and other CQC registered Adult Social Care provider. Also providers who support adults with learning difficulties, epilepsy, acquired brain injury, etc.

We cannot supply the Dechoker to members of the public, for use on children, for use in the workplace or to pubs & restaurants, etc.

Because of these restrictions I have made the decision to cease offering these products with immediate effect with all remaining stock being returned to the UK supplier.

I’m genuinely saddened about this as these are a remarkable product which have a proven track record of saving people from choking.

Chris

Chris Garland

“If you walked into this business, what would you expect them to have in place?”

Woman walking into a building - If I walked into your business, what woudl I expect you to have in place?

“If you walked into this business, what would you expect them to have in place?”

It’s a simple question and one that I ask when teaching a number of subjects. It tends to get people thinking and sometimes generates some surprising answers.

Ask yourself the same question; if you walked into a hairdressers or a restaurant, or perhaps an engineering workshop, or a school, or even a tree surgeons yard, what would you expect them to have in place for:

  • using ladders & steps?
  • working with those oils & chemicals?
  • ensuring food hygiene?
  • working with sharp edged equipment?
  • dealing with fires?
  • dealing with burns, cuts and grazes?

Now let’s flip the question – “If I walked into your business, what would I expect you to have in place for working with…?”

Ask yourself these questions;

  • If you use them, have you been trained how to use them properly? If they’ve been changed since you first started working there, have you been shown how to use the new ones? This could be a cash till, a set of hair curlers, some step ladders, a battery powered chainsaw, a new food mixer. Even a kettle or the post delivery trolley!
  • When did you last do a fire evacuation drill? While most office blocks will probably be pretty good at this, smaller offices and shops have probably never done one. And why would they? There are only a few people in there and obviously everyone could get out if they wanted to? Does that comply with the law though? Could “old Mrs Miggins” get out safely, or would you have to help her out? What about fire extinguishers – have you got any and if so what type are they (not size)? When were they purchased or last serviced?
  • Who checks to see if your first aid kit is in date? Do you have a first aider? When were they last trained? Do you even have a first aid kit? Do you know which pieces of legislation relate to having a first aid kit? Would it be a good idea to refresh your knowledge on the subject?
  • Where is your COSHH file & is it up to date? You might be thinking; “A what?”. Control of substances hazardous to health. Those oils and chemicals that you’re using. How long have you been using them for; years? Has that affected your skin? What do the manufacturers recommend in terms of storage, cleaning up spillages or cleaning equipment?

The list goes on.

All of these are legal requirements & if you’re not doing these, you’re opening yourselves up to compensation claims, let alone prosecution from enforcing bodies (Environmental Health Officers & Health & Safety Executive, Fire & Rescue Service, etc).

Paperwork

It’s definitely worth asking yourself, “If you walked into this business…” Many workplaces will say that they’re a safe place to work. But the counter to that is can you “prove it”. Have you got the paperwork to back up the claim?

  • An accident book?
  • A COSHH folder?
  • A record of near misses?
  • An accident investigation book/records?

So cast an eye around your workplace, even if it’s at home, and ask yourself, “if I walked in here, what would I expect there to be in place?” Hopefully you won’t end up thinking…

Sign - Danger, Do not enter

Summary

If you’re not sure of how to do these, get in touch with us today and we can help guide you in selecting the most appropriate training course for you. We run scheduled & private courses for individuals, groups, sports clubs & businesses across the UK.

Fire Safety Series – How often should fire safety training be undertaken?

So how often should fire safety training be undertaken?

This is another really good question and one that asked time and time again. In this article we answer this question & highlight the things you should be considering regarding to fire safety refresher training. You might be surprised at just how often staff training need to be renewed.


Basic fire safety training

Basic fire safety training should always form part of induction training undertaken on the very first day of employment. It should continue in the form of regular refresher training for all employees. Obviously it’s important to keep knowledge & skills up to date. Typically refresher training might be undertaken as part of a more wide ranging annual safety training programme.

There is also a duty of care to visitors, known as “relevant persons“. It’s not unreasonable for employers to ensure that all visitors are issued with basic fire induction training when signing in. At the very least, they should be advised of what the fire evacuation procedures entail & the location of muster points.

Some visitors will be less mobile or less able to self evacuate during their visit to the premises. In these instances, Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans should be discussed and agreed with the visitor. The use of evacuation chairs may be necessary to evacuate people safely from the building in the prescribed time frame. This is typically 2.5-3 minutes.


Fire marshal training – initial & refresher training

If done properly, your fire safety risk assessment will detail the number of fire marshals required for the premises. It will also prescribe their level and frequency of training. Ultimately, how often the training is undertaken depends upon the level of risk at the premises, staff turnover & any changes to the business, including physical changes to the building.

The London Fire & Rescue Service recommend that employers provide refresher fire safety training sessions at least once a year. This ensures that staff remain familiar with fire safety arrangements & the actions to be taken during a fire.

All fire marshal training certificates expire after three years. Refresher training should be undertaken annually or more frequently where there are higher workplace risks. Training should certainly be repeated more frequently when:

  • You have a high turnover of staff.
  • Your employees are responsible for the safety of hotel guests, vulnerable residents or patients.
  • There is a high risk of fire due to the nature of the workplace or surrounding hazards.

The London Fire & Rescue Service recommend that any members of staff who have particular responsibilities in respect of fire safety (i.e. supervisory or specialist roles such as those listed below) should receive detailed instruction in their own duties & refresher training every 6 months. These will include;

  • Department heads
  • Fire marshals or fire wardens
  • Firefighting teams in large workplaces
  • Floor supervisors
  • Central control room staff
  • Security staff (including night security patrols)
  • Attendants
  • Stewards
  • Kitchen staff
  • Engineering and maintenance staff
  • Receptionists
  • Caring staff
  • Hotel staff

Our thoughts.

Chris Garland

There are many factors that can influence how often training is undertaken; cash flow is one, staff being away from work is another. Ultimately, if there is a fire at your workplace and you don’t have sufficient numbers of trained fire marshals, or have fire marshals who have refreshed their training within their certificate lifespans, you’re on a sticky wicket when negotiating with your insurance company or your conscience. Ensuring that you’ve covered all bases in making your workplace as safe as reasonable is the fundamental part of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act. So as well as being in breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006, you’d also be in breach of the H&S at Work Act; both of which are criminal legislation rather than civil legislation.

Is it worth not spending a few pounds to ensure the safety of your premises? With fire marshal training starting at just £59.99 per person & £499 per group of 12 candidates, you’d be foolhardy not to invest in your businesses safety.

I genuinely hope that this guide is useful for you and that you feel equipped to determine how often your colleagues need to have their fire safety training refreshed. If, however, you feel that you’d like professional assistance in undertaking your fire risk assessment, please get in touch with us as we can recommend professional assessors to you. Chris.

Fire Safety Series – How many Fire Marshals do you need?

So just how many fire marshals do you need?

This is a question that we’re regularly asked. In this article we highlight the things you need to consider during the decision making process.


Sadly there isn’t a clearly defined answer to this question. There isn’t a “marshal per number of employees” or a floor area ratio somewhere. If there were it would probably make things a lot simpler!

Ultimately it depends upon the findings from your own fire risk assessment, so that’s you starting point. If you haven’t got a fire risk assessment in place yet, you urgently need to get one drafted as they are a legal requirement for all businesses (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) and not having one will almost certainly invalidate your insurance as well as leaving you open to prosecution by the relevant authorities.


Read all about Fire Safety Risk Assessments in another of our Fire Safety Blog Series here.


In fulfilling the main duty of the Fire Marshal, he or she will need to safely assist Relevant Persons during an evacuation. Fire Marshals should be “resident” in the area under their control & should not put themselves at extra risk during the evacuation.

The basic rules.

The general rules in deciding on numbers are;

  • The Fire Marshal must be able to perform their duties (i.e. search their area) & reach a place of safety within 2 ½ minutes of hearing an alarm / discovering a fire. A “place of safety” is typically the muster point outside, but may also include a “refuge area” within the building.
  • You need a minimum of one (ideally two) per floor or department. If the floor in question is large or complex then the responsibility should be split between additional Fire Marshals. For example, I used to work in an old building that was listed and had been converted into office space for one company. It would be fair to describe it as a bit of a “rabbit warren”. As such we had eight office based members of staff who were fire wardens. When one was on leave, the others had to move desks to ensure that there were sufficient marshals on site. This also went as far as restricting when staff could go for lunch breaks. If the marshal isn’t there, you don’t have a fire marshal. Simple.
  • Extra marshals for extra buildings. If your site has several buildings or has areas of external occupancy separate to the main unit, then extra Fire Marshals will be required.
  • Consider the number of occupants. If the Fire Marshal is responsible for a densely occupied area then extra Fire Marshals will be required.
  • Consider the type of occupants. If the building has the following categories of occupants, this should be borne in mind in deciding on the number of Fire Marshals;
    • Members of the public
    • The elderly
    • Disabled people
    • Sleeping occupants
  • Consider the fire risk. A building with high fire risks and/or poor fire precautions will need a proportionately higher number of Fire Marshals. Good fire risk management is required in these cases.
  • Assembly points need to be manned. A Fire Marshal should be at the fire Assembly Points and if you have multiple Assembly Points, then you’ll also need extra fire Marshals.
  • High number of members of the public? This can include places of worship, sports venues and transport hubs. In these cases, extra fire marshals will be needed.
  • Consider time away from work. Once you have decided on a reasonable number of Fire Marshals, this number should be doubled to cater for the Warden being out of the building. This will include holidays, sickness and meetings etc.

Other questions to ask that determine the need for extra fire Marshals include;

  • Do you employ a “stay in place” or delayed evacuation strategies?
  • Is your business designated as being a “high risk” workplace?
  • Is your premises a historical building? High rise and sub-surface locations have their own hazards and risks.
  • Does your premises contain high-security areas?
  • Does your premises have a history of fires (whether accidental or deliberate)?

Finally…

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

We genuinely hope that this guide is useful. Hopefully you now feel equipped to determine how many fire marshals you need. However, if you feel that you’d like professional assistance in undertaking your fire risk assessment, please get in touch. We can recommend professional assessors to you. Chris.

Fire Safety Series – The Fire Safety Risk Assessment

The Fire Safety Risk Assessment (FSRA)

In this article we aim to clarify exactly what a Fire Safety Risk Assessment is and how to undertake one for your business. We’ve included a number of links to freely available resources for you to download that will help guide you through undertaking a FSRA for your own premises.


So I need one?

All businesses (with some exceptions) must have a valid FSRA, to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (the regulations). In fact, it’s the cornerstone of your fire safety plans. As the responsible person you must carry out and regularly review the fire risk assessment for the premises. This will help identify what you need to do to prevent fire and to keep people safe.


Read all about the “Responsible Person” in another of our Fire Safety Blog Series here.


If your business has more than 5 employees, then the findings of your Risk Assessment must also be set down in writing.

You can do the assessment yourself with the help of standard FSRA guides (links below). If you don’t have the expertise or time to do the assessment yourself, you need to appoint a ‘competent person’ to help you; for example a professional risk assessor. Having a thorough FSRA could mean the difference between top quality fire protection and putting your business and employees at risk.

Whether you decide to use a professional fire risk assessor or that you want to undertake the assessment yourself, you/they need to be confident to:

  • Correctly identify the potential causes of fire in the business.
  • Identify the people at risk.
  • Assess the suitability of fire safety measures in place, such as fire alarm systems and escape routes.
  • Assess the ongoing management of fire safety in the business, such as fire drills and staff training.
  • Develop a fire safety action plan if changes are needed.
  • Record all the significant findings.
  • Implement the action plan if one is needed.
  • Keep the FSRA updated on an ongoing basis.

So what actually needs to be assessed?

You’ll need to consider:

  • Emergency routes and exits.
  • Fire detection and warning systems.
  • Fire fighting equipment.
  • The removal or safe storage of dangerous substances.
  • The buildings general emergency fire evacuation plan.
  • The needs of vulnerable people, such as the elderly, young children or those with disabilities. Potentially you’ll need to draft bespoke personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for each person who cannot evacuate the building safely within the required timescale.
  • Providing information to employees and other people on the premises.
  • Staff fire safety training.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment Check List

The Home Office has produced a very handy guide that you can download to help you in undertaking a FSRA at your premises. You can find the Fire safety risk assessment: 5-step checklist here.

Alternatively you can download guides specific to particular types of venue. You can find these here:


Finally…

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

We genuinely hope that this guide is useful for you and that you feel equipped to undertake your own fire safety risk assessment. If, however, you feel that you’d like professional assistance in undertaking your fire safety risk assessment, please get in touch with us as we can recommend professional assessors to you. Chris.

Welsh Government to reform the system regulating fire safety in high-rise buildings.

It was announced yesterday (21st May 2019) that the Welsh Housing and Local Government Minister, Julie James, will consider new legislation to replace the current Fire Safety Order and a new building control process.

This is part of the Welsh government’s response to the Building Safety Expert Group’s Road Map, released in March 2019, for improving fire safety in high-rise buildings. The Group was established following Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent report in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

The Hackitt report recommends that all buildings over 30 metres tall should be subject to a new regulatory system. However Welsh Government Minister Julie James states that the new regulations should should apply to buildings no more than 18 metres tall.

“We will also consider whether the new system could feasibly apply to other types of higher-risk buildings, such as those where vulnerable people sleep” said Julie James.

“We have a strong record of working to improve fire safety in people’s homes; we led the way in requiring sprinklers in all new and converted homes. Since responsibility for fire was devolved in 2005, the number of fires in dwellings has fallen further and faster in Wales than anywhere else in the UK.

“The Building Safety Expert Group recommendations take a pragmatic and considered response to resident safety. We are taking forward this work at pace and while a number of areas, including possible legislation, will require more in-depth analysis, I will make a definitive announcement on a proposal for buildings in scope in the autumn.

“I want to thank the group for their time and their careful consideration of a wide range of difficult issues. We will not compromise on effective delivery for the sake of ‘quick fixes’ that fail to produce a safer result for residents.

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

What do you think should be done to improve fire safety? Have you put in place additional fire precautions at your home and workplace since the Grenfell fire in June 2017? Let us know by commenting below.


Read more about fire safety in our fire safety blog series;

If you’re considering the current fire safety measures at your premises, get in touch. We offer a range of online and face-to-face fire safety training courses & we can recommend Fire Safety Experts who can assist you with your documentation and needs assessment.

Safety Check Day

Our evacuation chairs had their annual service today so that they’re all ready to be used on our upcoming evacuation chair user & assistant courses.

While the engineer was working on them we got chatting. He said that having just won a new contract, they were amazed to find that the vast majority evacuation chairs that the client had installed at their premises across the UK had never been serviced from when they were first installed in the mid 1990’s.

Now, not only is this against UK legislation (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998), it’s downright irresponsible.

How would you feel if you were a wheelchair user & had to be evacuated from a your workplace during a building fire, only to find that the evacuation equipment hadn’t been checked in over 20 years?

Don’t forget, you don’t have to be a wheelchair user to need the use of an evacuation chair. They are commonly used by children, pregnant ladies, those who are hearing or sight impaired, those with reduced movability, & by the inebriated to name but a few.

Could you imagine if the same was said of equally important and life saving fire extinguishing equipment such as building sprinkler systems or portable fire extinguishers?

Please ensure that you keep on top of your legal responsibilities towards you business, your colleagues & the wider public. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch as we can help in recommending health and safety professionals who can help you.

Chris Garland

Chris.

Women are less likely than men to be resuscitated and survive a cardiac arrest

Research published 22 May 2019 in the European Heart Journal reveals that women suffering a cardiac arrest are less likely to be resuscitated by bystanders, leading to decreased survival rates.

Tragically, this mirrors the results of a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and others that have gone before.

The European study, led by cardiologist Dr Hanno Tan at the University of Amsterdam, found that “people did not recognise that women who collapsed were having a cardiac arrest, leading to delays in calling the emergency services and delays in providing resuscitation treatment.”

Dr Tan stated that “People may be less aware that cardiac arrest can occur as often in women as in men, and the women themselves may not recognise the urgency of their symptoms. Women may have symptoms of an impending heart attack that are less easy to interpret, such as fatigue, fainting, vomiting and neck or jaw pain, whereas men are more likely to report typical complaints such as chest pain.”

Ironically this difference in male-female symptoms was also discussed on the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine radio show [May 2019].

If you’ve attended one of our first aid courses, you’ll also have heard us discuss this while teaching the differences between a Heart Attack and a Cardiac Arrest, as we’ve known about this for years. It’s not new news folks!


Learn how to recognise a cardiac arrest and provide CPR with one of our first aid courses;


Resuscitation Council UK

The Resuscitation Council UK stated in response to this latest report, that it is essential that all symptoms are considered equally important in evaluating cardiac arrest – and intervention occurs as soon as possible to maximise chances of survival.  

The Resuscitation Council (UK) knows that CPR saves lives, and we encourage people who witness a person who is unconscious and not breathing normally to take immediate action to intervene, irrespective of the gender of the casualty.

Director of Public Affairs Danni Manzi said: “We hope that this new research empowers and encourages people to help save a life. Dialling 999, beginning chest compressions and accessing a defibrillator are key to giving a person their best chance of survival in a cardiac arrest, whoever and wherever they are.” 

Our thoughts…

The one thing to take away from this is that you shouldn’t delay immediate action. The faster you act, calling 999/112, commencing CPR & using an AED, the greater their chance of survival.

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

If you’re not sure of how to do these, get in touch with us today and we can help guide you in selecting the most appropriate training course for you. We run scheduled & private courses for individuals, groups, sports clubs & businesses across the UK.

All change for first aid in 2019-20!

All change for first aid in 2019-20!

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

The next year is going to be an interesting one in terms of changes to the first aid arena, with several major changes coming over the next 12 months.

In this blog post I’m specifically looking at the changes to workplace first aid kit requirements, including the new types of kit; the introduction of teaching first aid as part of the national curriculum within England & the upcoming changes to the European Resuscitation Councils Guidance on first aid – the clinical guidance that all first aid instructors teach from during first aid courses.

You can use the links below to jump directly to the various sections of the blog.


Contents:


Old first aid kit in a wooden box
Hopefully your first aid kit doesn’t look like this!

Changes to workplace first aid kits.

Back in 2011 the British Standards Institute issued standard guidance on what should & should not be included within a workplace first aid kit. The guidance was only ever meant to be a best practice recommendation, as all businesses were (& still are) required, under Health and Safety legislation, to undertake a “needs assessment” to determine exactly what they should have in their own, bespoke first aid kit. Naturally, most businesses chose to follow the British Standard and purchased typical first aid kits for their size & type of workplace.

This was fine in the beginning, but just 4 years later a working group was tasked to reassess the contents of the BS 8599-1:2011 workplace first aid kit, to see whether changes to the recommendations should be made. Thankfully, workplaces haven’t changed that much since 2011. However, the overall threat to life and limb from terrorist activities certainly has. In recent years the Health and Safety Executive have changed the syllabus of workplace first aid courses to include training candidates in the use of tourniquets & haemostatic dressings. This has come about as a result of the increased knowledge relating to the initial medical treatments required for major trauma victims, such as those caught in terrorist blasts & shootings.

So what’s changed?

We now have the new British Standard BS 8599-1:2019, which came into effect on 31st January 2019 & relates to the specification of first aid kits for use in the workplace. The existing British Standard (BS 8599-1:2011) won’t be withdrawn until 31st December 2019, as they’ve allowed an overlap period for manufacturers & vendors of first aid kits sufficient time to refresh their stocks of 2011 compliant kits.


Where employers have work vehicles, BS 8599:2-2014 (Vehicle First Aid Kits) will still apply, as this new 2019 Standard only applies to workplaces.


The first thing that you’ll notice about the new Standard is that they’ve amended the recommended quantities of some of the contents. For example;

  • Workplace first aid kit (size = small):
    • Medium 12x12cm dressings: reduced to Qty 2 from Qty 4.
    • Large 18x18cm dressings: increased from Qty 1 to Qty 2.
    • Safety pins: no longer required.
  • Workplace first aid kit (size = medium):
    • Medium 12x12cm dressings: reduced to Qty 6 from Qty 4.
    • Large 18x18cm dressings: increased from Qty 2 to Qty 3.
    • Microporous tape: increased from Qty 1 roll to Qty 2.
    • Safety pins: no longer required.
  • Workplace first aid kit (size = large):
    • Medium 12x12cm dressings: reduced to Qty 8 from Qty 6.
    • Large 18x18cm dressings: increased from Qty 2 to Qty 3.
    • Microporous tape: increased from Qty 1 roll to Qty 3.
    • Safety pins: no longer required.

At this point it would be good to remind ourselves of exactly what the Standards recommend in terms of workplaces and quantities of first aid kits, so here it is;

Category of HazardNumber of people on siteQuantity & size of first aid kit
Low HazardFewer than 25Qty 1 small kit
(e.g. shops, offices, libraries, etc) 25-100Qty 1 medium kit
More than 100Qty 1 large kit per 100 employees
High HazardFewer than 5Qty 1 small kit
(e.g. light engineering & assembly work, food processing, warehousing, etc)5-25Qty 1 medium kit
More than 25Qty 1 large kit per 25 employees

Appendix A of the Standard also states that “where there are special circumstances, such as remoteness from emergency medical services, shift work or sites with several separate buildings, the quantity of first aid kits should be increased as appropriate.”

Anything else?

The next thing that you’ll notice is that they’ve replaced the “Travel first aid kit” with a “Travel and Motoring first aid kit”, and created two new categories of first aid kit; the “Personal issue first aid kit” & the Critical injury first aid kit”. The new Travel and Motoring First aid kit is to include;

  • Guidance Leaflet (Qty 1)
  • Contents Label (Qty 1)
  • Medium 12 x 12cm Dressing (Qty 1)
  • Triangular Bandage (Qty 1)
  • Water Resistant Plasters (Qty 10)
  • Moist Cleansing Wipes (Qty 10)
  • Nitrile Gloves (Pair) (Qty 2)
  • Resuscitation Face Shield (Qty 1)
  • Foil Blanket (Qty 1)
  • Burn Dressing 10cm x 10cm (Qty 2)
  • Heavy Duty Shears (Qty 1)
  • Low Adherent Wound Pad 7.5cm x 7.5cm (Qty 1)
  • Trauma Dressing (Medium) 10cm x 18cm (Qty 1)

The Personal Issue First Aid Kit is to be issued to first aiders, should their employers assess that it would be prudent or necessary in light of their job role (e.g. security personnel, cleaners, maintenance personnel).

  • Guidance Leaflet (Qty 1)
  • Contents Label (Qty 1)
  • Large 18 x 18cm Dressing (Qty 1)
  • Triangular Bandage (Qty 1)
  • Water Resistant Plasters (Qty 10)
  • Moist Cleansing Wipes (Qty 4)
  • Nitrile Gloves (Pair) (Qty 2)
  • Resuscitation Face Shield (Qty 1)
  • Foil Blanket (Qty 1)
  • Heavy Duty Shears (Qty 1)

Perhaps the most distressing, but sensible addition to the Standard is that of the new Critical Injury First Aid Kit. This, the Standard suggests, is typically for use by those who “work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, cutting equipment, power tools, construction, agriculture, forestry, etc.”

The guidance goes on to suggest that; “Appropriate numbers of this pack should be stored, in line with the risks assessed. Employers should take into consideration the maximum number of people on site at any one time.” “In addition, following a risk assessment, an employer might consider storing appropriate quantities of critical injury packs to be equipped to deal with injuries to employees or the public resulting from acts of terrorism or other mass casualty incidents.

As far as I can remember, this is the first time terrorism and mass casualty incidents have been mentioned before in regular (non-specialist) first aid guidance issued in the UK. From having spoken to manufacturers of these types of critical injury packs, I can confirm that there are hundreds, if not thousands of them already distributed around the UK at places where large numbers of people gather.


Having the kit is one thing; knowing how to use it is another. If you’re considering investing in Critical Injury First Aid Kits, you’d be well advised to attend our Critical Injury Responder Course, where you’ll learn how to use the contents of the kit and so much more.

You’ll learn about the types of injury you might find & how to treat them using the contents of a Critical Injury First Aid Kit. The 6 hour course is delivered in such a way as to bolster your first aid knowledge. You won’t be bombarded by technical jargon; just simple, clear and concise information. We include plenty of practice time to make sure that your hands remember what to do should you be faced with a critical injury, because your memory will take a few seconds to catch up.


Traumafix Military Field Dressing - When you've a major bleed to deal with, and a traditional ambulance dressing just isn't going to cut it, you need a military field dressing and this is the best that we've found.
The “Traumafix” Trauma Dressing – a very-stretchy elasticated pressure bandage allowing direct pressure to be applied quickly and maintained easily.

So what exactly is in this new “Critical Injury First Aid Kit”?

The Standard gives us a list of suggested items that should be contained in a Critical Injury First Aid Kit. The list being as follows;

  • Guidance Leaflet (Qty 1)
  • Contents Label (Qty 1)
  • Nitrile Gloves (Pair) (Qty 2)
  • Trauma Dressing (Large) 15cm x 18cm (Qty 2)
  • Haemostatic Dressing (Qty 2)
  • Tourniquet (Qty 1)
  • Foil Blanket (Qty 1)
  • Heavy Duty Shears (Qty 1)

Helpfully, the Standard also provides some definitions as to all the elements of the new kits. While some are pretty obvious, others need some clarification.

  • Trauma Dressing (Large): “A pressure bandage measuring a minimum of 15cm x 400cm (stretched length) and conforming to BS 7505:1995 (specification for the elastic properties of flat, non- adhesive, extensible fabric bandages) type 3B with a wound pressure pad not less than 15cm x 18cm of at least 500g/m2, with a low adherent wound contact surface.”
  • Trauma Dressing (Medium): “A pressure bandage measuring a minimum of 10cm x 400cm (stretched length) and conforming to BS 7505:1995 (specification for the elastic properties of flat, non- adhesive, extensible fabric bandages) type 3B with a wound pressure pad not less than 10cm x 18cm of at least 500g/m2, with a low adherent wound contact surface.”
  • Haemostatic Dressing: “A medical device for use on severe wounds to significantly shorten bleeding times through the accelerated promotion of clotting. Can be presented as a roll, sheet, ribbon, gauze, foam, powder, wool, or as part of another dressing.”
  • Tourniquet: An emergency haemorrhage control device, applied to a limb, with a mechanism to control the application and release of pressure, utilising a windlass, pneumatic compression or form of mechanical advantage to fully occlude blood flow and stop catastrophic blood loss.”

Attend our Critical Injury Responder course to learn how to use the contents of the new Critical Injury First Aid kits. (click for more details).


So how does this affect you?

In simple terms, if you were to go out an buy a first aid kit today, you’ll probably receive one that states that it’s BS8599:1-2011 compliant (or more likely simply BS8599:1 compliant). That’s fine, but as we’ve seen above, the new standards are already in place. So if you’re looking to buy a new first aid kit, I’d recommend that you ask whether the kit that you’re going to receive will be compliant with the new Standard.

Don’t forget though, the Standard is simply a recommendation – you need to undertake a needs assessment to determine exactly what you require for your workplace. As such, there isn’t anything to say that a 2011 compliant kit isn’t going to be suitable for you in 2019 or beyond because you will have determined exactly what it is that you need in your needs assessment.

If you’ve undertaken your needs assessment and you’ve determined that it would be reasonable to invest in a Critical Injury first Aid Kit, I’d also seriously consider investing in the training on how to use the kit as well. If someone is bleeding out in front of you, the last thing that you want to be doing is faffing around reading instructions and trying to figure out what you should be doing with “that new big first aid kit”.


First Aid to be taught in primary & secondary schools.

Image of a child learning to write letters

The next big change in 2020 is that first aid is to be taught in schools in England, as part of the national curriculum. Yes, after much nagging and kicking and screaming, not to mention it having being filibustered out of Parliament no less than twice (!) by MP’s, the UK Government have finally seen sense and have decided kids in England should be taught first aid as part of their school education.

The Department for Education issued a consultation document in July 2018 (closing in November 2018) in relation to the teaching of “Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education”.

At the time of writing this blog post, the Government are considering “the draft statutory guidance and regulations will follow from the assessment of the consultation responses. Following consultation, we expect regulations will be laid in the House, alongside final draft guidance, allowing for a full and considered debate in the first half/quarter of 2019. The final statutory guidance will be published once the regulations have been passed“.

The draft guidance for teaching “Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education” state that by the end of primary school, students should know:

  • how to make a clear and efficient call to emergency services if necessary.
  • concepts of basic first-aid, for example dealing with common injuries, including head injuries.

They go on to say that by the end of secondary school, students should know:

  • basic treatment for common injuries.
  • life-saving skills, including how to administer CPR.
  • the purpose of defibrillators and when one might be needed.

So how will this pan out in September 2019?

It remains to be seen how schools in England will implement these new requirements. The final version of the Guidance is likely to be issued at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, meaning that schools will have to work out how to teach the subjects over the holidays, ready for the 2019-2020 school year.

The draft guidance does offer some help to schools in the form of Annex B, which provides a list of external resources available to teachers to assist in the teaching of the new requirements. However, there is no mention of how schools are to teach first aid.

If your school is looking for help on how to teach these subjects, please get in touch. We’d love to help you now, rather than over the summer holidays when we expect all the other schools will be getting in touch!


European Resuscitation Guidelines 2020.

Finally (?) we have the 2020 release of the European Resuscitation Guidelines, which are scheduled for release towards the end of 2019. These are most likely going to be released in November 2019, shortly after the European Resuscitation Council’s Congress, which is being held in Manchester (at “Manchester Central”, or as everyone still calls it, “The Gmex Centre”) over the 22nd-24th of October 2019.

My thoughts on this.

What will be included in the revised guidelines remains to be seen, but I’d strongly suspect that;

  • there will be the reintroduction of elevation to treat bleeding.
  • teaching people how to put casualties into the “recovery position” (aka the “safe-airway position”) will be completely dropped from all first aid syllabuses, with the possible exclusion of paediatric first aid courses where infants (children under 1 year old) are put into a cradling style of recovery position.
  • there may be a requirement for workplaces to roll-out the new Critical Injury Packs, or something similar (bearing in mind that this is European-wide guidance), along with training on how to use them.
  • There may also be new guidance in relation to de-choking devices, but I suspect that this is less likely.

Time will tell.

Chris.

Fire Safety Series – Fire Safety at Home

Image of a house made from matchsticks burning.
House fires are truly terrifying.

Shocking figures have been released by the Home Office showing that last year, 248 people lost their lives due to a fire at home. Many of these could have been prevented had some basic measures for fire safety at home been put in place.

Everyday fire risks are present in our homes. Well-known risks include candles and cooking left unattended, covered electrical heaters, overloaded plugs, and cigarettes.

Here are a few ways to keep you and your family, friends and neighbours safe:

Smoke alarms

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and make sure you can hear them throughout your home.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly – they could save your life, but only if they are working.
  • Offer to test the smoke alarms of an older family member, neighbour or friend who needs help.

Fire escapes

  • Go around your house and identify which windows are fire escape windows.
  • Plan and practise how you’d escape in a fire and have a plan B.

Sources of heat

  • Most accidental fires start in the kitchen, so take care and never leave cooking unattended.
  • Don’t overload plug sockets and adapters – watch out for loose wiring, scorch marks, and hot plugs and sockets.
  • Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them to dry clothes.
  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully – put it out, right out.
  • Ensure that you unplug all phone & device chargers before you go to sleep.
  • Ensure that you’ve removed all the fluff from your tumble-dryers filter before you use it next time.

What can you do?

We’ll always promote having some knowledge of how to keep yourselves safe, whether you’re at home or at work. At a basic level we’d recommend our online e-learning Fire Safety course which is just £14.99 per person.

Even if just one person in your household undertakes the course, you’ve started the process of ensuring fire safety at home.

If you want to get hands on practice using fire extinguishers then we’d recommend our Fire Marshal Training. We offer this course to individuals as well as businesses. During the course you’ll get to use both water and CO2 fire extinguishers and learn when you should and shouldn’t use them. (Different fires = different fire extinguishers).

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you’ve any questions, please do add a comment below.

Chris

Is your first aid certificate about to expire?

First aid certificate expiry.

[Updated 30th July 2020]

First aid certificate expiry dates are probably not top of your list of things to think about & since the UK went into lockdown (23rd March if you’ve forgotten), we’ve all had plenty to think about. But businesses have to ensure that they have sufficient cover available while they are open for business. So what do you do if your first aid certificates have expired?

At the end of March, the Health & Safety Executive issued a statement about first aid certificates that expired after the 16th March 2020. Here is their statement in full:

“The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l74.pdf and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l123.pdf is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake retraining before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that employers, and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.

“If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months. Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

“This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

So, the four workplace first aid certificates would be extended by 3 months. The Department for Education then mirrored the HSE & introduced the same extension for Emergency Paediatric First Aid & Paediatric First Aid certificates coming up for renewal on or after 16th March.

And that was it.

It was left that if you had a different certificate, then they would lapse and that was that. The reason being that that the HSE & Department for Education only had a vested interest in the syllabuses of these six first aid certificates.

But what about other certificates?

At the end of May 2020, the HSE updated their website again to give further clarification on the extensions for the four certificates that they had a vested interest in (EFAW, FAW, OFA, OM). They’ve made it clear that:

To qualify for these extensions, that you must be able to:

  • explain why you haven’t been able to requalify,
  • demonstrate what steps you have taken to access the training, if asked to do so.”

They went on to state that;

“The first aid training industry in England is confident that enough courses will now be available for all required requalification training to take place. HSE has therefore agreed a final deadline for requalification for these qualifications of 30 September 2020.”

What this means is that if you have any of the following certificates, that have expired since the 16th March 2020, and that you meet the criteria for certificate extension, your certificate is valid until 30 September 2020.

  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • First aid at work
  • Off-shore First Aid
  • Off-Shore Medic

From the 2nd June 2020, this was mirrored across for paediatric first aid certificates.

Please refer to section 8.6 of “Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak” and section 6.2 of “Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications” for further details.

Stop Press!!

It seems that despite a number of first aid training providers being back at work, there is a bit of a rush on getting people trained up again due to certificate expiry. So the Department for Education have just this week changed the extension date for paediatric first aid certificates to November 25th (see section 6.2 – link above).

Having checked the HSE’s website, they’re still saying that the extension date for other workplace first aid certificates is still the 30th September. So, whichever certificate you need to renew, you still have a bit of time to do it!

What about other first aid certificates?

We have a great many clients who have outdoor based first aid certificates. These include:

The HSE’s and Department for Education’s combined extension statement didn’t cover these courses. So an enquiry was made to the HSE for clarification as to whether the extension applied to other courses.

The HSE responded, saying:

“HSE guidance on extension of certificates during the coronavirus outbreak applies to qualifications related to workplace first aid as per the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989.

“Under the 1981 regulations, employers are required to provide adequate and appropriate first aid for their employees, should they be injured or become ill at work.

“If an employer is satisfied that another training qualification provides their first aider with competencies that meet the requirements of their first aid needs assessment, and that the first aider remains competent, then it would be reasonable to assume an extension of the validity of certification in line with that HSE guidance.”

So, assuming that you meet the extension criteria noted above, if you have a different workplace first aid certificate, it too will be automatically extended until 30th September 2020.

Chris

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19)

[Latest update: 15th May]

Contents:


Basic Important Information:

  • Coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2 which leads to the disease COVID-19) is a new (novel) form of virus whose appearance resembles a crown. Hence the term “corona”, meaning crown.
  • The vast majority of people infected with the virus (click here for latest figures) only exhibit mild symptoms.
  • Research papers show that:
    • the virus can remain suspended in the air for up to 3 hours.
    • the virus can survive for up to 72 hours on surfaces such as glass, fabric, metal, plastic & paper.
    • the virus can survive in human faeces for 5 days.
    • the virus is spread by both droplet (e.g. sneezing) and by aerosol transmission (i.e. through the air).
    • infected people can spread the disease in as little as 12 hours after your initial exposure to it. However you’re most likely to spread it between 3 & 7 days after initial exposure.
    • you will typically start to exhibit symptoms of the disease from 2-14 days after exposure, with the mean time being 6 days after exposure. This means that people affected by the virus can be spreading it (community spread) for up to 2 weeks before they become aware that they are ill.
  • Symptoms include;
    • a new dry cough (i.e. not a “chesty cough” that produces sputum),
    • a fever (37.8 DegC or above),
    • Other symptoms include: muscle aches & a feeling of being generally unwell (general malaise), a shortness of breath, gastrointestinal infection symptoms (such as diarrhoea).
  • If you have these, DO NOT dial 111 (NHS24) unless the symptoms are life threatening. Simply remain at home in isolation (see below). Calling 111 will simply add to the number of people trying to get through, in the same way that there are many irrelevant 999 calls.

The video below (released 31st Jan 2020) from the World Health Organisation explains more about the virus and its disease.


Our training courses (updated).

  • General:
  • Face to face courses:
    • All face to face courses have ceased for the time being. I’m looking at ways to recommence face to face training courses in June.
    • Our most popular courses can be undertaken online as part of a blended learning course. The face to face element of this course can be undertaken several weeks afterwards, the exact time depends on the specific course.
    • We will continue to facilitate additional personal hygiene during our courses. This includes physical distancing of candidates as well as running courses with reduced numbers of candidates.
    • Should your instructor be diagnosed with coronavirus, we will make every effort to inform you immediately.
  • Online courses:
    • We have a portfolio of around 50 online courses that you can take, so you may not even need to attend a face to face course.
    • We are already running courses via Zoom webinar. You can view our webinar courses here.
  • You:
    • If you have any of the symptoms (listed above), please;
      • do not attend your course.
      • contact us to advise us that you are self-isolating.
      • follow Government advice with regards to self isolation.
    • We will look to rearrange your course for you. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions regarding late notice of cancellation.

Update – May 15th 2020:

Well, have these been an interesting few week’s! We have probably all been touched by this virus now; whether personally or because we know someone who has been affected by the virus. However there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The UK government have now allowed some businesses to start going back to work, so I’m looking at ways in which we can start running face to face courses again in the near future; ideally from June. Obviously to do this we will need to put in place various measures to ensure your safety and the safety of our instructors.

I am currently in the process of reviewing the official government guidance with regards to businesses becoming “COVID-Secure”. I am also awaiting official guidance and recommendations from the First Aid Quality Partnership; which is a group formed to support regulatory requirements for Awarding Organisations and Bodies. My understanding is that guidance will be issued during the week beginning 18th of May. As soon as I’ve had a chance to review both sets of safety recommendations, I will be able to update you on if & how we will be running face-to-face courses in the future.

Covid-Secure 2020 poster

Naturally, I fully expect that there will be some significant changes to the way that we run courses. These may include running the course entirely online (e.g. as a webinar) or asking you to undertake an online e-learning course as part of your learning. Where we ask you to undertake an online e-learning course as part of the course, it will reduce your face-to-face course time by around 30%. This shouldn’t diminish your learning, but it will help reduce any risk of contracting the virus.

Another change that will come into effect is that our main training centre is relocating within Knutsford. Traditionally we run our courses from the Community Centre, located centrally in Knutsford. However, the managers of the centre don’t believe the rooms will be available again until September at the earliest.

We regularly use a second local venue, and we are investigating using this as our main training centre moving forward. Using this venue will allow us to provide more than two metres of separation between each candidate thanks to the size of the room.

I’ll keep you updated on how we are moving forwards with all of these soon.

Chris


Update – Mar 15th 2020:

The UK has now entered the delay phase of the plan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. While scientific debate continues as to which is the optimum way to deal with the virus, we will simply be providing links to good, relevant & reliable sources of information. The first of these is, “How do you self-isolate & what should I do or not do while at home?

Here is the practical advice from a highly respected, retired NHS medical trainer. While the video was released on 27th Feb, the contents remain relevant today and moving forwards.

The official NHS website guidance for staying at home can be found here > https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

The World Health Organisation have an entire page dedicated to providing information to the public. This can be found here > https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Web based courses

We currently offer a small range of blended learning courses, including paediatric first aid, emergency first aid at work (the 1 day course) & first aid at work (the 3 day course). These are undertaken online and then your practical skills are assessed by us face to face. This range of courses will be supplemented shortly with additional blended learning courses and courses that are undertaken 100% online, including family first aid.

Additionally, we are a few days away from releasing an online learning portal where we can deliver training courses to you, real-time, from our training centre directly to your internet equipped device (laptop, tablet, etc). We have the cameras, microphones, lighting and software. All you need is internet access, headphones/speakers, a microphone (not essential) & a keyboard/on-screen keyboard. Your phones, tablets, laptops, etc all have these built in already.

The first courses that we’ll be teaching this way will be those that require either no physical equipment, or those that require the use of equipment that you’re already likely to have at home. Watch this space!


Update – Mar 11th 2020:

Worldwide we’re seeing a massive increase in the numbers of people catching the virus. The good news is that 89% of people who get the virus only have mild symptoms and recover well from the disease (COVID-19). Sadly we’re seeing CFR (casualty fatality rate) figures of 6.2% in Italy currently (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/). The experts aren’t sure why this figure is so high, when the rest of the world is seeing CFR figures of around 1%. (South Korea is currently 0.78% for example). For comparison, seasonal flu has a typically CFR of 0.1%. The suspicion is that it relates to co-morbidity (ie, those who die already had pre-existing conditions).

For the latest research, facts & figures, I strongly recommend that you watch this video.

If you believe that you may have the virus, please self-isolate at home, away from your family members. Keep to one room, ideally a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. Ensure that the room is well ventilated & that if you do leave the room, you are wearing a mask to prevent you spreading the virus around your house. Remember, the virus can live for up to 3 days on surfaces and linger in the air for up to 30 minutes (see video above).


With regards to our courses, we will continue to train people for as long as we can. At some point the UK will no-doubt enter lock down in a similar way to China, Italy, etc. When this happens, we will liaise with you over your course booking to agree a way forward, whether that be to defer the course date, to run it online (as several of our courses can be), to run it by video link (the technology exists, so why not use it!), or to cancel the course altogether.

In the meantime, we are implementing the measures as recommended by the Resuscitation Council UK (link) who state:

Guidance for all Training settings
2.1 The main infection risk in a classroom full of learners is contact with other people and/or surfaces rather than the manikin itself. Learners always need to observe a high standard of handwashing, with alcohol gel (or wipes if gel unavailable) provided in addition to handwashing facilities.
2.2 Learners should be reminded to cough/sneeze into a tissue and dispose of this into a bin immediately, washing hands afterwards. Alternatively, coughing/sneezing into the bent elbow if no tissue available.
2.3 Where individuals are exhibiting symptoms typical of flu, a cold or have been in close contact with someone who has the COVID-19 infection then they should exclude themselves from the course. Likewise if an individual has travelled to/from the countries/regions as listed in https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk they should act on the advice dependent on whether they were a category 1 or 2 traveller.

https://www.resus.org.uk/media/statements/resuscitation-council-uk-statements-on-covid-19-coronavirus-cpr-and-resuscitation/covid-training/

We will be providing tissues & hand cleaning gel alongside our existing manikin wipes. During formal first aid training courses (EFAW/FAW, etc) you will still be required to demonstrate effective rescue breaths. We are reassured that the wipes that we normally use can “kill” the virus (deactivate the RNA (Ribonucleic acid) within the virus) should this be present on the manikins.


Update – Feb 28th 2020:

Currently there are an increasing number of cases worldwide of this virus. The daily increase in numbers of cases in China appears to be reducing according to official figures. As the virus spreads out from China it’s reasonable to assume that the daily increase in worldwide cases will increase. In the UK as in the USA, authorities are saying it’s a matter of when, not if.

The population containment (i.e. stopping people from congregating) that’s being undertaken in China is viewed by the experts as being fundamental in the slowing down of case increases of the disease (COVID-19). There are reports that cities such as Beijing (16.33m population) are basically closed & have been since mid-January. To put this in perspective, the population of London is around half that of Beijing.

On the 10th of February 2020, the UK Government stepped up their response to the disease and have enacted the The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020. This includes provision for the detention and isolation of persons & certainly makes for interesting reading.

The main concern about the virus is not the potential death rate (currently around 1% overall (the 2003 outbreak of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was around 10%)), but that should there be a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 within the UK, the NHS simply wouldn’t have sufficient supplies of medical oxygen, ventilator equipment, bed spaces or medical professionals to be able to cope with those who are “serious” or “critically” ill. This is why the Government is looking to containment of the virus (and by logical extrapolation, the population) so as to spread the infection over a longer time, resulting in a shallower but longer “spike” in infection rates. This could then allow the available resources to be better used to treat a greater number of patients, rather than being overwhelmed by a tsunami of serious and critical patients.

As such, containment makes perfect logical sense, although it will have a dramatic effect on day to day life within the UK. No doubt business and day to day life will find a way to carry on. How this will affect the assessment of need for HS2 is anyone’s guess!


General & Useful Information about Coronavirus.

For current and up to date information please visit the World Health Organisation website & the UK’s Government website. Remember that these are manually updated and you may find newer information via official press releases.

Also, please remember that the number of people who have died as a result of contracting this virus is a very small proportion of those who die as a result of catching flu each year.

So don’t panic. Just take sensible precautions.

Masks

Hand washing

Expert opinion

You can find a wealth of rational & knowledgable information here.



And finally…

We’ll be updating this blog post as the situation develops in the coming weeks. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment below.

Face to Face courses in a post Covid-19 world

Face to Face courses in a post Covid-19 world

With the lockdown situation being as it is, we have had to cancel all our face to face courses. Unfortunately this will have to continue until we are given guidance by the regulatory authorities that states that we can reopen again (with whatever distancing requirements are necessary).

The HSE along with the Secretary of State for education and Ofqual have all stated that they will not recognise any workplace first aid training courses if the face to face course assessment elements of the course is done in a non-traditional face to face manor. The statement was released by the HSE and others around three weeks ago at the beginning of the lockdown. At the time they stated that they would be reviewing this as time went on.

Their statement advised that they were four workplace first aid courses that could have a three-month extension applied to the certificate expiry date should they be expiring in the three months following the date of lockdown. This statement was supported by Ofsted and was replicated on the courses where they influence the syllabus.

The courses mentioned in the joint statement are:

  • emergency first aid at work
  • first aid at work
  • offshore first aid
  • offshore medic
  • emergency paediatric first aid
  • paediatric first aid

By inference, all other first aid certificates that expire during the period of lockdown cannot be extended in the same way. These include:

  • basic life support,
  • first aid refresher training,
  • outdoor first aid,
  • Forestry Commission first aid, and
  • other more advanced workplace first aid training certificates such as the administration of emergency medical gases, and the FREC suite of courses and the equivalents developed by other awarding organisations.

With this in mind we will be releasing entirely new course dates for all of those face to face courses where is a requirement for physical face to face assessment as part of the course.

Naturally, we are awaiting further guidance from the awarding organisations as well as the HSE, Ofqual, Ofsted, and the Secretary of State for education. As soon as we get this, we will be in a better position to provide you with an update on exactly what can and cannot be done in terms of running physical training courses over the next few months.

Until then, we’ll continue to run our webinar courses & bespoke blended webinar courses alongside the 49 e-learning courses that we currently offer. If you haven’t had a look at these yet, click on this link. You might be surprised to see the range of e-learning courses that we offer. And please keep checking back as we’re working to add to this list in coming weeks.

If you would like to register your interest in these face to face courses, please fill in your details in the form below so that we can add you to the list.

In the meantime, please keep looking out for each other and keep safe.

Chris.


CPR during the covid pandemic

CPR during the covid pandemic

As you can imagine, for those providing CPR during the covid pandemic, this brings with it additional risks.

During CPR, there is always the potential for rescuers to be exposed to bodily fluids, as providing chest compressions or rescue breaths can aerosolise the naturally occurring fluids in the victims airway. Because of this, CPR is classed as an “Aerosol Generating Procedure” or “AGP” for short.

So what are the simple measures that you need to implement when providing CPR during the covid-19 pandemic?

The Resuscitation Council UK have released this brilliant short video that explains exactly what you need to do to keep yourselves safe should you need to provide CPR to a victim of a cardiac arrest.

How to provide CPR during the covid pandemic

The normal process for providing CPR is as follows, with the additional simple measures highlighted in green. Please note these instructions are for a typical CPR scenario, so you may need to adjust them slightly for the situation as you find it.

Remember: CPR is not given to people who are “alive”. You are trying to make this person “alive” again.

  • Try to remain calm.
  • Call 999 or 112 before commencing CPR if you are on your own. If you have someone else with you, they can make the call.
  • Get the casualty onto their back, lying on a hard surface (not a mattress, car seat, etc).
  • Place a cloth/towel/scarf over the nose and mouth of the victim. This will not harm them, or diminish your efforts in providing CPR.
  • CPR can be provided through clothing. It’s only when an AED/defibrillator is being used that you need to bare the patients chest.
  • Adults (12 years old and above):
    • Kneel down next to them.
    • Place the heel of one hand on the centre of their chest & place the other hand on top, interlinking fingers.
    • Straighten your arms & get your shoulders directly above/slightly beyond your hands.
  • Children (1-12 years old):
    • Kneel down next to them.
    • Place the heel of one hand on the centre of their chest. Use two hands if you need to bear down more on them because you are petite.
    • Straighten your arms & get your shoulders directly above/slightly beyond your hands.
  • Infants (0-1 years old):
    • Place the tips of your index and second finger on the centre of their chest.
  • Compress the chest 30 times, at least one third of its depth, at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute (roughly 2 times each second).
    • Yes it’s a long way. You’re trying to squeeze the heart which is somewhere in the middle of them.
    • Yes you will hear &/or feel the cartilage dislocating from the ribs and the sternum during the first couple of compressions. If you don’t, either you’re not pushing deep enough, or they were already broken.
  • Do not give the victim any rescue breaths. (Normally you’d give them two small, gentle rescue breaths at this point).
  • Continue providing hands-only CPR.
    • If you have someone else who can take over from you, you should swap with them after 1-2 minutes as you will become tired and less effective. Swap again every 1-2 minutes.
  • Keep going until;
    • the victim starts to breathe again on their own, or
    • the ambulance arrives, or
    • if you have an AED/defibrillator, it tells you to “stand clear” of the victim or “do not touch” them, or
    • you become too tired to continue further, or
    • the situation becomes too dangerous to continue.

Cardiac arrest in infants (0-1yo) or children (1-12yo) is unlikely to be caused by a cardiac problem and is more likely to be a respiratory one. Normally this makes ventilations crucial to the infant’s/child’s chances of survival. However, the Resuscitation Council UK Statement on COVID-19 in relation to CPR and resuscitation is relevant to all ages. Therefore, continue with “hands-only” CPR, and get the ambulance to them as quickly as possible.

Where can I learn CPR?

If you want to learn how to provide CPR in a safe classroom environment, please book on a course with us. Unfortunately the Covid lockdown has stopped all face to face training courses, but we’re still able to run our webinar courses and our e-learning first aid courses, such as these;

Finally

I hope that this has been useful to you. Providing CPR during the covid pandemic is going to be an additionally stressful situation for all those concerned, not least the responder. Hopefully this blog post will help to allay some of those fears, teach some how to provide CPR, and act as a refresher for those who already knew how to provide CPR.

Take care, keep safe & I hope to see you on a course soon.

Chris

Vehicle first aid kits

Vehicle first aid kits
E-Learning Courses

Yes really! I’m actually getting round to writing a new blog post. I’m fairly sure that at the beginning of the year I limited myself to just two new years resolutions; going for a run once every week and writing a regular blog post.

Well I’ve failed at both of these so far! No more!!

So here I am wondering what to write about for this blog post (I’ve already started writing another blog post about concussion after some friends of mine had a head-on car crash and started to show signs of having it). They say that posts should be interesting and beneficial to the reader & I completely agree with that.

Having just finished a week of working across the country teaching first aid to school staff, auto-electricians, sports coaches and more I’ve another full week ahead where I’m working every day, but 3 of the days are CPD training, so I’m not sure you could call that work?

Monday: First aid for a private client in West Yorkshire.
Tuesday: CPD.
Wednesday: First aid for a private client in Cheshire.
Thursday: CPD in Milton Keynes.
Friday: CPD in West Yorkshire.
Saturday: Day off??
Sunday: First aid for a private client in Gloucestershire.

So as you can see, I’m spending quite a lot of time on the nations motorways which got me thinking about first aid kits for vehicles. What guidance or legislation is there for vehicles and their operators or owners?

My friends car after a head on collision.
My friends car after a head on collision.

Remember my friend who had the car crash I mentioned earlier? A week after the crash he was asking me what he should have in his car in terms of first aid provision. Well the simple answer to that is a first aid kit, but this was followed up with a comment about knowing how to use what you had in the kit and having things in your kit that you know how to use.

In terms of guidance we have the Health & Safety at Work Act (as amended). The HSE’s website tells us that:

If you are self employed you are required to ensure you have such equipment, as may be adequate and appropriate in the circumstances, to provide first aid to yourself while at work.

You should make an assessment of the hazards and risks in your workplace and establish an appropriate level of first-aid provision. If you carry out activities involving low hazards (eg clerical work) in your own home, you would not be expected to provide first-aid equipment beyond your normal domestic needs. If your work involves driving long distances or you are continuously on the road, the assessment may identify the need to keep a personal first-aid kit in your vehicle.

Now let’s add some more legislation into the mix for company drivers.

In June 2011 British Standard BS 8599 came into effect (since amended) which superseded the British Healthcare Trades Association Standard which was originally published in 1997. This new standard has a section (Part 2) which relates to the contents of first aid kits for motor vehicles. It identifies three different sizes of motor vehicle first aid kit, determined by the size of the vehicle, category of the hazard, and the passenger numbers.

Small: For moped, motorcycle, motor tricycle, and quadricycle (maximum 3 passengers).
Medium: For car, taxi, van, and truck (maximum 8 passengers).
Large: For minibus, bus and coach (maximum 16 passengers, larger passenger vehicles will require multiple kits to suit).

There’s also additional legislation for those who drive taxis and buses.

So do you need to follow this in the UK for your own non-business use car?

No you don’t, which is a shame really as having a first aid kit with you when you’ve driven your family to the park, or wherever, could prove to be really handy. If nothing else there are some handy wipes in there for grubby fingers.

So if you were to have a BS 8599-2:2004 compliant first aid kit in your own car you should have the following items stored in a clearly marked container which displays the standard first aid sign (see page 18 of the HSE’s Guidance Note L64), namely:

1 Guidance Leaflet
2 Gloves (Pair)
10 Cleansing Wipes
10 Washproof Plasters
1 Foil Blanket (Adult)
1 Resuscitation Device
1 Pair of Universal Shears
1 Adherent Dressing
2 Burn Dressings
1 HSE Dressing, size medium
1 Trauma Dressing, size medium
1 Triangular Bandage

So there you have it; that’s what the guidance says your should have. But don’t forget, it would be handy if you knew exactly how to use all of those items correctly.

Drive safely folks!

Chris

Latest client feedback

Latest client feedback.

Course evaluation form
Course evaluation form

I’ve been nose to the grindstone over the last couple of weeks doing various courses myself, so I’ve only had time to run one training course which was an emergency first aid at work course.

Anyway I thought I’d share with you some of the feedback that I received from the course;
[su_spacer size=”30″]
“Q: In one sentence, how would you describe this course to a friend/colleague?”

  • Comprehensive in the areas that we cover.
  • Invaluable & needed in every workplace (& home)!
  • Better than the previous course I attended.
  • I would recommend it.
  • Informative & lightly delivered during sensitive subjects.
  • Amazing!

[su_spacer size=”30″]
Pretty good huh?

See you on a course soon & don’t forget, I’m adding more courses to the catalogue of e-learning and face-to-face training that I already offer!

Chris

New series of Vlog posts to come!

New series of Vlog posts to come!

Image of a mobile phone on a stand ready to a vlog post to be recorded

I’m going to be releasing a series of short vlog style video tutorials over the coming months. The first video will be first aid skills related, but what else would you like me to cover?

Please let me know so that you can get the most from the series.

Chris

Fire Safety Blog Series – The Responsible, Competent & Relevant Person

Fire Safety Blog Series – The Responsible, Competent & Relevant Person

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

In this short blog post (part of the Fire Safety Blog Series), I’m going to take a quick look at the role of the “Responsible Person”, the “Competent Person” & the “Relevant Person”.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, came into force in October 2006. As well as amending & revoking dozens of pieces of earlier fire safety related legislation, it gave rise to the terms “Responsible Person”, “Competent Person” & “Relevant Person”. So just what are these roles and what do they mean?

The Responsible Person

The “Responsible Person” has overall responsibility for fire safety at a businesses or other non-domestic premises. To put this into context, non-domestic premises are defined within the Order as being;

  • all workplaces and commercial premises,
  • all premises where the public have access,
  • the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings.

Within the Order, Article 3 states that the Responsible Person will either be;

  • the employer (note that this can also be a business & not an individual as, from a legal point of view, it’s the company that has control, not the employee), or
  • the owner, or
  • the landlord, or
  • an occupier, or
  • anyone else with control of the premises. For example a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor.

Where there is more than one Responsible Person, they should work together to meet their responsibilities (e.g. in a shared office building). Where there are common or shared areas, such as entrances, landings and stairways, the Responsible Person will be the landlord, freeholder or managing agent.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 also applies when you have paying guests, such as when you run a bed and breakfast, a guest-house or let a self-catering property.

 

Role of the Responsible Person

Article 8(1) of the Order requires that the Responsible Person take “general fire precautions”. These precautions are defined within article 4 of the Order and include measures;

  • to reduce the risk of fire and the risk of spread of fire,
  • in relation to means of escape from the premises, including safe escape routes and emergency escape lighting,
  • to fight the fire,
  • in relation to the detection of fire and the ability to warn of fire.

The Responsible Person is legally required to;

 

The Competent Person

The Competent Person is also know as the fire risk assessor. They don’t need to be a specialist in the field, but they should have:

  • an appropriate education, training, knowledge and experience in the principles of fire safety,
  • received appropriate training and/or experience in carrying out fire risk assessments,
  • an understanding of fire development and the behaviour of people in fire,
  • knowledge of fire hazards & fire risks,
  • an understanding of relevant factors associated with occupants at special risk within buildings of the type in question, and an,
  • understand of the relevant fire safety legislation and the associated guidance documents.

While there is no defined education level, skill set or specific training for someone to become a Competent Person, they must be able to identify a problem and suitably assess it in relation to the safety systems in place.

 

The Relevant Person

Article 2 of the Order identifies the Relevant Person(s) as being any person lawfully on the premises, as well as any person in the immediate vicinity of the premises, who will be at affected should a fire break out on the premises.

 

Chris Garland
Chris Garland

I genuinely hope that you’ve found this blog post helpful and informative. If you’ve enjoyed this post or have any questions, please feel free to leave a reply below.

×