Statement From the Health anbd Safety Executive Regarding the Standard of First Aid Traing Required by Them

Everyone loves a bargain, but sometimes if an offer seems to good to be true, it's because it is! If you are offered a first aid course that takes less than a day (for Emergency First Aid at Work) or three days (for First Aid at Work) be very, very suspicious. Sub-standard training puts your staff, the public and your business at risk.

"This is a joint statement by the Health and Safety Executive and the *First Aid at Work Quality Partnership (FAWQP)

It has been brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that some organisations seeking to commission First Aid at Work (FAW) training have required the training to be delivered over significantly shorter time periods than those recommended in HSE guidance and with student/trainer ratios that could compromise the effectiveness of the training.

The HSE guidance strongly recommends that First Aid at Work training (FAW) should be for 18 hours over a minimum period of 3 days and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) 6 hours over a minimum of 1 day. FAW requalification training should be for 12 hours over a minimum of 2 days, and all of these recommended periods exclude breaks.

Class sizes for the training should be appropriate. For example, where first-aid training is provided in class sizes of greater than 12, unless additional trainers and/or assessors are provided there may be concerns over addressing the training needs of individual candidates or adequately assessing their competence.

We believe that adhering to the recommended training hours and having appropriate trainer/student ratios are important factors in ensuring that the training syllabus is covered adequately and that students absorb fully what they have learned and are able to demonstrate relevant competencies.

Employers are required to undertake due diligence when selecting their first aid training and may be asked to demonstrate to an HSE or local authority inspector that their first aid provision is adequate and appropriate.

*The First Aid at Work Quality Partnership membership includes a wide range of first aid training standard setters and providers and responsible bodies of medical opinion. The following organisations have added their endorsements to this important statement.

British Red Cross First Aid Awarding Organisations forum (FAAOF) First Aid Industry Body (FAIB) Royal Life Saving Society St John Ambulance West Midlands Ambulance Service"

New Trainers

Training4Life (Scotland) are delighted to welcome two new trainers, Jake Freeman and Brian Christie
Jake has, for a many years, been delivering in-house training in First Aid and Health and Safety for Core Assets/Foster Care Association, under the auspices of Training4Life (Scotland). He has recently completed the Certificate in Education and Training, and will be delivering his first regulated course in the next few days. Jake is based in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and so increases our area of cover considerably.
Brian's background is in the chemical engineering where he has been heavily involved in Health and Safety for many years, mostly in terms of risk assessments, advice and compliance. He has also been delivering in-house staff training, however, and has recently completed his Certificate in Education and Training, and is looking forward to delivering H & S training for us in future. If required Brian is also available for on-site inspections and risk assessments.

Public Course

Following on from our public course in January, we are again offering both First Aid at Work, and Emergency First Aid at Work, in conjunction with Perthshire of Commerce. The course is to be run on 7th November 2016, at the Algo Centre, Perth,
The training on 7th November will be the Emergency First Aid at Work Course, combined with day Day One of the three-day First Aid at Work course, which continue over the following two days for those that require it.. We are offering substantial discounts to members of Perthshire Chambers of Commerce

NEW! Public First Aid Courses - PERTH

We are delighted to announce that the first of our locally-run public first aid courses will be starting next month!

Our one day Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) course will be running on 11th January 2016, with the three day First Aid at Work (FAW) course continuing on 12th and 13th (The Emergency First Aid at work course is unit one, day one of the three-day First Aid at Work course).

Both these qualifications are Offqual regulated, and meet the standards suggested by the HSE for first aid provision in the workplace. To see which qualification best suits YOUR workplace, click on "Calculator" above.
Course Costs: EFAW - £80 per person, FAW - £200. 10% discount for two delegates booking together.

Topics Covered - Day One - First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work
Role and responsibilities of first aider
Unresponsive casualty not breathing normally
Unconscious casualty breathing normally
Levels of consciousness and recovery position
Management of a seizure
Recognition and treatment
External bleeding
Minor injuries

Days Two and Three - First Aid at Work only
Sprains and strains
Spinal injuries
Chest injuries
Severe burns and scalds
Eye injuries
Heart attack

Keeping Up To Date

We don't know the details yet - they will be announced later this month - but it looks like there will be a couple of changes to first aid and CPR protocols soon. The new guidelines will be announced by the European Resuscitation Council, in conjunction with the Resuscitation Council (UK), on 15th October. It isn't anticipated that these will be major changes, but it is still important to keep up to date. The last changes to CPR guidelines were in 2010, and these were also quite small but, prior to that, the big changes that came about in 2005 are reported to have brought about a 30% improvement in survival rates, which demonstrates the need for regular updating of skills.

People often ask why first aid keeps changing. Actually, it doesn't change that much, or that often, but from time to time new techniques are developed in medical circles, and some are passed on to us in first aid. This is particularly true in regards to CPR, which is a relatively new technique. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation has only been practised in medical/scientific circles since the early sixties, and didn't get passed down to first aid until much later, so we really are still learning.

Once we have had time to read, learn and inwardly digest the new guidelines, there will be a six month changeover stage, by which time ALL first aid training should be incorporating the new guidelines. All Training4Life (Scotland) trainers will be attending familiarisation seminars in November, and will be rolling out the new training as soon as the books can be amended or re-printed.

How to Survive a Heart Attack on Your Own

heart attack, CPR, asprin, w position, NHS 24, 999

In a previous post I stated that the so called "Cough CPR" is a useless piece of nonsense in an out-of-hospital situation.

If ever you do suspect you are having a heart attack, here's what you CAN do.

1) Call "999"
Don't call the doctor, DON'T call NHS 24, it's 999, because you need an ambulance, with all the special kit that they carry, and that doctors don't. Paramedics also have specialist life-saving skills that doctors are much less practised at.

2) Unlock your door
When the paramedics arrive, they need to be able to let themselves in, in case you;re not able to.

3) Asprin.
If you have any readily available, take a 300mg Asprin.
Don't swallow it, but chew it slowly in your mouth.

4) Sit down, make yourself comfortable, and wait.
Often, the most comfortable position will be leaning slightly back, supported, with knees raised and supported, as above. This is sometimes called the "W" position

"Cough CPR"

Once again that old chestnut about "Cough CPR" is going the rounds on FaceBook
Please, if you get one of these messages, suggesting that repeated coughing could save your life in the event of a heart attack, delete it without sharing it - because it's nonsense.

The Resuscitation Council (UK) (known to their friends as Resus UK) is the body, comprised of medical experts, who, together with the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) (more medical experts) and in consultation with other organisations like the American Heart Association (yes, yet more medical experts!), that sets the standards for resuscitation throughout the UK and, indeed, the world.. These are the people who, together with the others I mentioned, review the statistics every five years or so, and occasionally introduce changes into things like CPR and other first aid issues (so when you go on a first aid course, and things are different from last time, they're the ones to blame!). It was Resus UK who introduced the big changers in 2005, and the smaller ones in 2015. Incidentally, the changes in 2005 are credited with a 30% improvement in out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rates, so the don't make these changes for the fun of it.

Anyway, back to my original point. This is what Resus UK has to say about "Cough CPR"

"The BLS/AED Subcommittee knows of no evidence that, even if a lone patient knew that cardiac arrest had occurred, he or she would be able to maintain sufficient circulation [by coughing] to allow activity, let alone driving to the hospital."

Whilst Resus UK do not specifically mention this, it makes sense that strenuous activity during a heart attack is likely to make the situation worse, possibly even inducing a cardiac arrest in a patient that might otherwise have survived.

For the full Resus UK article on this, please check here:

The next ERC/Resus UK review is later this year, No major changes are anticipated, but watch this space

Our "First Aid Needs Calculator" is now up and running!

One of the many responsibilities employers have, is to make sure their employees' working environment is safe, and that there is adequate first aid provision in the event that someone is taken ill, or injured. Many people find the guidance given by the Health and Safety Executive ( is vague at best, and downright unhelpful at worst.
Here at Training4Life (Scotland), we have taken the worry off your hands, with our easy to use calculator. Simply click on the "Calculator" tab on the home page, complete the straightforward questionnaire, and we will tabulate your requirements for you - simples!

Lifesaver Video Challenge

The Resuscitation Council have just made a fantastic new interactive video game based around a number of first aid scenarios. I must admit, it's not easy to get 100%!
Try it here:

A Strange Reaction?

Christmas is a time when we have all sorts of things in the house that we would never consider having at any other time of year – no, I don’t mean Uncle Bert and Auntie Susan, they can stay for now – but what about that tree, and the holly, not to mention all the exotic food and drink we treat ourselves to? Exposure to things like these can occasionally lead to all sorts of strange reactions, from asthma attacks to allergies, or even anaphylaxis.
Most allergies tend to be topical, affecting only the skin, and can often be dealt with by antihistamine creams or even mild hay-fever tablets.
An asthma attack can range from wheeziness and a slight tightness of the chest, to a life threatening respiratory problem. If you can identify the source of the irritation, remove it, or move the patient to another room. Get them into a comfortable position – sitting, leaning forward on a table is often best. Make sure they have the best quality air possible, so consider opening doors and windows (cold can be a trigger too, though, so consider this). Remove, or loosen any tight clothing – collar, tie, belt, braces, the wet-suit Santa brought, etc. If they have their own asthma medication, assist them to take it. If the situation is getting worse, or if they are becoming distressed, seek medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening condition that can develop rapidly. Early symptoms are often a tingling of the lips and tongue, followed by a rash spreading from the chest to the neck and face, soon followed by swelling about the face and mouth, anxiety, and difficulty breathing.
Sometimes there can be tingling in the extremities and stomach cramps. Don’t waste time – dial 999 and say, “Anaphylaxis.” In the meantime, treat the casualty as for asthma, above, including asthma medication, if they have their own. If they have an auto-injector (Epi-Pen, Jext) help them to use it.
If they lose consciousness put them in the recovery position. If they stop breathing – do CPR.
You might have to work quite hard to get air into their swollen airway.