Question: How often does first aid and CPR training have to be renewed? How many first aiders are required?

The codes of practice provide that first aiders should attend training on a regular basis to refresh their first aid knowledge and skills and to confirm their competence to provide first aid. It is recommended that refresher training in CPR should be undertaken annually and first aid qualifications should be renewed every three years.

CODES OF PRACTICE An approved code of practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under safety laws. A code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. In most cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance with the health and safety duties under WHS laws, in relation to the subject matter of the code.  Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks that may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.

The following ratios of first aiders are recommended under the Code:

  • Low risk workplaces – one first aider for every 50 workers
  • High risk workplaces – one first aider for every 25 workers.

Low-risk workplaces are those where:

  • Employees are not exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness that would require immediate medical treatment such as those associated with plant, hazardous substances, dangerous goods, confined spaces and hazardous manual handling
  • The business is located where medical assistance or ambulance services are readily available to the community and to the workplace where the business operates.
  • Low-risk workplaces include offices, libraries and most retail operations.

A high-risk workplace:

  • Are those where employees may be exposed to hazards that could result in serious injury or illness (serious head/eye injury, amputation, electric shock, serious lacerations, etc.) that would require immediate medical treatment.
  • Higher risk workplaces include manufacturing plants, kitchens, motor vehicle and body panel workshops, medical research facilities and forestry operations.

Note – this is a short summary only and reference should be made to the full Code and to WHS legislation to ensure you comply with all legal obligations.

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