First aid obligations under HASWA

First aid obligations under HASWA

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2021 August 03

Health and safety legal obligations extend beyond preventing accidents. Persons Conducting Business Undertakings (PCBU) also need to be prepared to provide immediate and basic care to an injured person through the effective provision of first aid.

There are specific regulations that cover first aid equipment and training. Adequate equipment must be provided in the workplace and each worker must have access to the equipment and first aid facilities. On top of this, an adequate number of workers must be trained to administer first aid.

What is adequate for any workplace will depend on factors such as the work being carried out; the nature of the hazards in the workplace; and the size, location and composition of the workplace. Unsurprisingly, highly hazardous and remote worksites will require more comprehensive first aid arrangements than a shop in the city.

Penalties for failing to meet these obligations are a fine not exceeding $10,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a PCBU. It is important to note that no actual harm has to occur for an offence to be committed.

Work Safe has practical and useful guidance for PCBUs on first aid at work. Becoming familiar with the guidance (and following it) will help PCBUs comply with their legal obligations. It may also save someone’s life.

Acknowledgments and thanks to our partners at Vero Liability for this content