Navigating the maze of workplace first aid requirements can be a challenge for any business owner. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, ensuring that your workers and anyone else on-site are protected by eliminating or minimising risks is not just a duty but a legal obligation. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify workplace first aid requirements in New Zealand and introduce how MediTrain can assist in meeting these requirements.

Understanding The Law For First Aid Requirements In The Workplace

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is the backbone of workplace safety in New Zealand. It mandates that employers assess their first aid requirements based on the nature of the work and the workplace location. This assessment is crucial as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to first aid.

Factors such as the number and location of employees, the type of workforce, specific risks associated with work duties, and the physical location relative to emergency services must be considered.

Role in Health and Safety Management

The responsibility of managing first aid and health and safety processes typically falls to the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).  This can be the director or owner of a company. Communicating with workers on health and safety matters, including first aid, is crucial.

First Aid Requirements in Workplaces

Every business in New Zealand must ensure that workers have access to a first aider and a first aid kit. The training and equipment provided should be relative to the risks posed by the business. The recent 'First Aid at Work' guidance from WorkSafe NZ offers detailed responsibilities for first aid products and training in the workplace.

How To Assess How Many First Aiders You Will Need

Determining the number of first-aiders for your business involves considering factors such as the number of workers at each location, the nature of hazards present, and the distance from external medical assistance. WorkSafe NZ s guidance document can be a useful resource in making these determinations.

How to Calculate Your First Aid Requirements

  1. Determine the Number of Workers
    The size of your workplace is a key factor in determining the number of first aid-trained staff needed, as well as the quantity of first aid kits required. MediTrain staff can offer guidance on this. As a general rule, a small business with five staff typically needs just one trained first aider. However, having a backup person is advisable in case the primary first aider is absent or on leave.
  2. Assess the Nature of Work and Associated Risk Factors
    Consider the nature of your work environment. If your workplace is office-based with minimal hazards, it is classified as low risk. Conversely, if your work involves trades or handling dangerous goods, the risk level increases, necessitating a higher number of trained first aid staff.
  3. Evaluate Proximity to Emergency Services
    The location of your business in relation to emergency services is crucial. Businesses in remote areas may depend more heavily on a first aider to provide critical and potentially life-saving care. The greater the distance from support services, the more essential it is to have additional staff trained in life-saving first aid skills.

First Aid Equipment and Facilities

First aid kits and facilities must be easily accessible and tailored to the risks and size of your workplace. For example, environments with a high risk of burns or electrocution should be equipped with specific first aid items, such as burn kits or defibrillators. It is crucial to regularly review and update your first aid provisions. This includes ensuring that your first aid staff, kits, and procedures are adequate and up-to-date, with reviews ideally conducted annually.

First aid training should be refreshed every two years. If your staff complete their training through MediTrain, we will provide an automatic notification when their certification is approaching renewal. This is to ensure that their qualifications remain current.

Should trained staff leave your employment, it's important to reassess your workplace's first aid requirements to maintain compliance and safety standards.

First Aid Register

While not explicitly mandated by Worksafe, maintaining a first aid register is a best practice. It should include details about first aid kits' locations, names and locations of first aiders, and any first aid room available.

Training for First Aiders

MediTrain’s nationwide workplace first aid courses are fully aligned with WorkSafe guidelines and NZQA rules, ensuring that first aiders receive comprehensive and effective training. Our courses encompass unit standards 6400, 6401, and 6402, involving a minimum of 12 hours of training and assessment. This rigorous approach guarantees that first aiders are well-prepared and knowledgeable.

Furthermore, we offer the flexibility of customising our training to suit the specific needs of your workplace. If you have a team of 8 or more, we can deliver training at your premises, tailoring the content to focus specifically on hazards that are relevant to your work environment.

Why Choose MediTrain

 MediTrain, with over 30 years of experience, offers nationwide Workplace and Childcare First Aid courses approved by NZQA, WorkSafe New Zealand, and the Ministry of Education.

Our courses are custom-designed with locally developed materials. We also provide a variety of first aid kits suitable for different workplace sizes.

Ensuring your workplace is compliant with first aid requirements is not just about ticking boxes it s about safeguarding the wellbeing of everyone in your work environment. With MediTrain's expertise, you can ensure your workplace is not only compliant but also a safer place for everyone.

Contact our team to book a course or get advice about first aid requirements for your workplace.