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According to the Health & Safety Executive, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, all employers are required by law to provide adequate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure people receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
Whilst employers are obliged to make it clear to all employees where the first aid equipment is kept, having a sign clearly indicating the location of a first aid kit is extremely useful. This enhances the safety of employees and ensures the importance of first aid signs are fully realised within the given organisation.
Even the self-employed are required to provide themselves with adequate and appropriate first aid equipment, although for clerical work conducted entirely from home, this doesn’t go beyond what is usually found on domestic premises.
However, the law only requires employers to provide first aid for their staff, not for the general public, though as a gesture of goodwill, many organisations, such as shops, entertainment organisations and schools, will give first aid to members of the public whenever it’s needed.
When signage is needed most
If you are planning to run a public event, for example if you are planning to take part in the next Open Farm Sunday, the HSE advises you to take first aid assistance into consideration, including - if it is a big event - arranging to have St John’s Ambulance first aiders present. In the workplace, staff will generally know who to turn to when there’s a problem, or where the first aid box is kept, but members of the public will need to be informed of where to go for assistance.
Given the imperative to make the location of your first aid resources easily identifiable, the importance of first aid signs cannot be underestimated.