First aid gives employees the knowledge and, more importantly, the confidence to spring into action in an emergency. Whether it’s for a customer or colleague, when an emergency happens, knowing what to do and what not to do can make all the difference.

If you’re running a business, the new Health and Safety legislation requires you to ensure that adequate first aid kits and facilities are provided, that each worker has access to these, and to information about first aid arrangements.

A PCBU must also ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid or workers have access to others who have been trained.

Exactly what’s needed at your workplace will depend on your individual circumstances. The The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE’s) good practice guidelines suggest that employers could carry out a first aid needs assessment, which includes identifying the appropriate number of qualified first aid personnel needed.

That may depend on factors such as the number of employees, the type of work it is, or how long it would take for medical help to arrive. First aiders should be trained by, and hold a current first aid certificate from an organisation approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

MBIE’s guidance states that there should be at least one first aid kit in every workplace and at least one kit for every 50 employees. If the workplace is on more than one level, there should be at least one kit provided for each floor. The kits must be kept in a clearly identified and readily accessible location.

Employers are also required to provide first aid facilities, and large enterprises or businesses where access to medical facilities is difficult or where there are significant hazards, should consider providing a first aid room.