Workplace first aid

All workers must be provided with first aid facilities, equipment and access to first aiders. This fact sheet outlines what you, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), must do to make sure workers have the right first aid resources for the work they do.

First aid facilities and equipment

When deciding how to provide first aid facilities and equipment, you must consider a number of factors.

ConsiderationExample
Size and location of the workplace
  • the size of the workplace
  • if workers are scattered within the workplace or in one location
  • locating first aid equipment at accessible and prominent locations
  • the distance of the workplace from medical treatment facilities.
Number and composition of the workers
  • how many workers will be at the workplace, their average age
  • hours of work - if there are multiple shifts or overtime.
Type of work being done and potential hazards
  • the nature of the work and its hazards, and the kind of injuries or illnesses that have occurred or could reasonably expect to occur
  • if first aid equipment additional to first aid kits will be needed (eg an automatic external defibrillator in case of electrocution).

First aid facilities can range from having a dedicated first aid room (for a large workforce) to a private area set aside. If you share a workplace with other PCBUs, you can co-ordinate sharing first aid resources with them.

First aiders

You must provide your workers with trained first aiders (either from within your business or from another business). When deciding how many trained first aiders are needed, you must consider a number of factors.

ConsiderationExample
Size and location of the workplace
  • the size of the workplace
  • if workers are scattered within the workplace or in one location
  • the location of the workplace and how fast emergency services could come if needed.
Number and composition of the workers
  • how many workers will be at the workplace, their average age
  • hours of work – if there are multiple shifts or overtime.
Type of work being done and potential hazards
  • the kind of injuries or illnesses that occurred or could be reasonably expected to occur.
Administration of workplace first aiders
  • the kinds of first aid training required (eg basic training, or more advanced training)
  • how to cover for first aiders that are not available or resign
  • when refresher training for first aiders is required.

In mobile workplaces (eg couriers, taxi drivers), or where the workplace location varies (eg for tradespeople) you must make sure workers can contact first aiders or emergency services and know how to respond in an emergency. For example, you could require workers to always carry the contact details of the nearest medical centre or hospital.

For more information on facilities for isolated or remote workers see section 3.1 of WorkSafe’s interpretive guidelines, General Risk and Workplace Management - Part 2

Worker engagement

You must engage with your workers when making decisions about first aid facilities and first aiders, and when proposing changes that may affect their health or safety.