First aid

Incidents can happen without warning, and occur in all workplaces. You must be prepared for first-aid emergencies.

Must do’s

There are specific laws that outline what you must do about first aid in the workplace. Here we summarise those laws and give you some practical tips.

Equipment and personnel

You must give your workers access to:

  • first-aid equipment and facilities
  • trained first aiders.

Keep first-aid kits close to areas where there is a higher risk of injury or illness – eg in the kitchen or warehouse. Also keep kits inside all work vehicles.

What we recommend

To determine what sort of first aid you might need, think about:

  • the type of work you do and the safety issues involved
  • the size and location of your workplace – eg distance between work areas, response times for emergency services
  • the number of workers.

We recommend a first-aid room for workplaces with more than 200 workers, or high-risk workplaces with more than 100 workers.

As a rule of thumb, there should be one first aider for every:

  • 50 workers in low-risk workplaces (eg an office)
  • 25 workers in high-risk workplaces.(eg a construction site).

A trained first aider should hold a nationally recognised statement of attainment from a registered training organisation.

More information

For the specific laws about first aid, see clause 42 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

There are also general work health and safety laws that will apply to you in any situation, including with regards to first aid.

For practical information about determining first aid requirements and equipment, facilities and training, see the code of practice for first aid in the workplace.