Many thousands of employees are exceeding their employers' expectations of them by voluntarily signing up for continual first aid refresher updates.
Since its launch in autumn 2005 by the British Red Cross, one of the UK's leading providers of first aid training, more than 15,000 people have joined Safe hands, the free programme that provides support and ongoing knowledge for first aiders between refresher courses.
Amanda Jenkins of the British Red Cross commented: "Those who attend our first aid courses increasingly seem aware of how important it is for them to maintain and refresh their knowledge and skills. They seem to value the skills they have acquired and want to keep them up to date."
"By doing so they are also indirectly making a positive contribution to corporate social responsibility. In a recent poll of first aiders by the British Red Cross, 51% stated they had used the skills they had gained through their workplace in a non-work environment."
One recent example of this was a young mother who, while in work, had completed a first aid training. More than a year later she was able to apply her skills to save the life of her two-week old baby daughter, who was choking.
Employers are also likely to find that first aid training helps to improve the overall performance of staff who attend courses. A recent British Red Cross survey found that 97% of the HSE qualified first aiders questioned felt more confident as a result of the training they had received, both personally and professionally. In addition, the vast majority claimed to feel more valuable to their employer.
All employers have to meet the legal requirements set out in the Health and Safety (first aid) Regulations 1981. This means there must be appropriate equipment and appointed, trained first aid staff on hand to deal with any injury or illness that befalls someone on the premises. Once they have been on a course they must attend a refresher course three years later to maintain their qualification.
Amanda Jenkins of the British Red Cross commented: "First aid training and updates such as Safe hands can provide employers and employees with valuable benefits - far more than the reassurance that official obligations have been met."
For a full copy of the survey please contact Lydia Mottershead on 0844 871 8000
For further information contact Lydia Mottershead on 0844 871 8000