How Many First Aid Officers Required in Victoria’s Workplace

portrait-man-with-safety-protection-equipment-first-aid-kit-

Like all other states and territories in Australia, Victoria has specific requirements for first aid officers in the workplace. These requirements are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of employees in case of an emergency. But how many first aid officers are required in the workplace in Victoria?

Luckily, Work Safe Victoria has produced a simple-to-read 77-page  guide titled “Compliance Code: First Aid in the Workplace”. So, you can download and read the whole guide or keep reading this blog article for a complete summary!

In this article, you will discover:

  1. The definition of First Aid. What is it?
  2. The two approaches for determining your first aid needs in the workplace.
  3. How to determine what type of first aid kits you need.
  4. How many first-Aiders do you need in the workplace.
  5. The different First Aider title and what they actually do.
  6. How to put together a simple First Aid plan for your business or workplace.

According to Work-safe Victoria, the number of first aid officers required in the workplace depends on the size and nature of the workplace. For low-risk workplaces with less than ten employees, at least one designated first aid officer is required. However, for high-risk workplaces with more than 50 employees, the number of first aid officers needed is determined by a risk assessment.

Employers need to understand and comply with these requirements to ensure the safety of their employees. Failure to comply with first aid officer requirements can result in fines and legal action. In this article, we will explore the specific requirements for first aid officers in the workplace in Victoria and guide employers to ensure compliance.

Legislation and Guidelines in Victoria

In Victoria, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) set out the requirements for first aid officers in the workplace.

Under the OHS Act, employers must provide employees with a safe working environment, including adequate first aid facilities and trained first aid officers. The OHS Regulations specify the minimum requirements for first aid facilities and equipment and the number of trained first aid officers required in the workplace.

The number of first aid officers required in the workplace depends on several factors, including the nature of the work, the size of the workplace, and the number of employees. Based on these factors, the OHS Regulations guide the minimum number of first aid officers required.

For example, at least one trained first aid officer is required for workplaces with fewer than ten employees. For workplaces with 10-50 employees, at least one trained first aid officer is needed for every 25 employees. For workplaces with more than 50 employees, at least one trained first aid officer is required for every 50 employees.

Employers must ensure their first aid officers have completed an approved training course and hold a current first aid certificate. The OHS Regulations specify the minimum requirements for first aid training courses and the frequency of refresher training.

In addition to the OHS Act and OHS Regulations, WorkSafe Victoria provides guidance and resources to help employers meet their obligations regarding first aid in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to consult these resources to ensure they offer their employees a safe and healthy working environment.

Refinery worker got himself injured during work sitting on the floor having head pain.
Refinery worker got himself injured during work sitting on the floor having head pain.

Duties of First Aid Officers

In Victoria, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 require employers to provide adequate first aid facilities, equipment, and personnel to ensure the health and safety of their employees. This includes appointing one or more first aid officers, depending on the size and nature of the workplace.

The duties of first aid officers include:

  • Providing first aid treatment and assistance to injured or ill employees and visitors.
  • Maintaining first aid equipment and supplies, ensuring they are readily available and in good working order.
  • Keeping accurate records of all first aid incidents and treatments provided.
  • Conduct regular checks of the workplace to identify and eliminate hazards that may cause injury or illness.
  • Participating in emergency response drills and exercises to ensure preparedness in an emergency.
  • Providing training and education to other employees on first aid procedures, including responding to emergencies and administering basic first aid.

First aid officers must also possess the necessary skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively. This includes completing a nationally recognised first aid training course and regularly updating their skills and knowledge through ongoing training and development.

Employers must ensure that first aid officers are adequately trained, equipped, and supported to perform their duties safely and effectively. They must also ensure that all employees know the location of first aid facilities and personnel and how to access them in an emergency.

Determining the Number of First Aid Officers

Employers are responsible for ensuring adequate first aid officers in the workplace. The number of first aid officers required depends on the size and nature of the workplace.

According to the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017, the following factors should be taken into consideration when determining the number of first aid officers required:

  • The number of employees at the workplace
  • The nature of the work being carried out
  • The hazards associated with the work
  • The location of the workplace
  • The time taken for emergency services to arrive

The table below provides a guide for determining the number of first aid officers required based on the number of employees at the workplace:

Number of Employees Number of First Aid Officers
1-10 At least one
11-25 At least two
26-50 At least three
51-100 At least four
101-200 At least five
201-500 At least six
501-1000 seventhThese are minimum requirements, and additional first aid officers may be required depending on the nature of the work being carried out and the hazards associated with the result.

Employers should also consider the location of the workplace and the time taken for emergency services to arrive. Additional first aid officers may be required in remote areas or workplaces where emergency services may take longer to arrive.

In summary, the number of first aid officers required in the workplace depends on the size and nature of the workplace. Employers should consider the factors outlined in the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 when determining the number of first aid officers required.

A diverse group of employees gathered around a conference table, discussing workplace safety during a committee meeting
A diverse group of employees gathered around a conference table, discussing workplace safety during a committee meeting

Factors Influencing the Requirement

Various factors determine the number of first aid officers required in a workplace in Victoria. These include:

1. Size of the Workplace

The workplace size is a significant factor in determining the number of first aid officers required. Per the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017, workplaces with less than ten employees need at least one trained first aid officer. For workplaces with more than ten employees, the number of first aid officers required increases proportionally to the workplace size.

2. Type of Work Undertaken

The type of work undertaken in the workplace also plays a crucial role in determining the number of first aid officers required. Workplaces that involve high-risk activities, such as construction sites, manufacturing plants, and chemical factories, require more first aid officers than low-risk workplaces, such as offices and retail stores.

3. Location of the Workplace

The workplace location is another factor influencing the number of first aid officers required. Workplaces in remote areas or places where emergency services are not readily available require more first aid officers than those in urban areas.

4. Hours of Operation

The hours of operation of the workplace also impact the number of first aid officers required. Workplaces that operate 24/7 require more first aid officers than those that work during regular business hours.

In conclusion, the number of first aid officers required in a workplace in Victoria depends on various factors such as the size of the workplace, type of work undertaken, location of the workplace, and hours of operation. Employers need to assess their workplace and determine the appropriate number of first aid officers required to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees.

Industry-Specific Requirements

In Victoria, the number of first aid officers required in the workplace depends on the industry. The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 provides guidelines on the minimum number of first aid officers needed in different sectors.

The number of first aid officers required in the construction industry depends on the number of on-site workers. The tables  below outline the minimum number of first aid officers needed for each industry sector:

Construction Industry

Number of Workers Minimum Number of First Aid Officers
Less than 10 1
10 to 50 more
e than 50 2 for the first 50 workers, and 1 for every additional 50 workers

Manufacturing Industry

Number of Workers Minimum Number of First Aid Officers
Less than 10 1
10 to 50 1 for every 25 workers more
e than 50 2 for the first 50 workers and 1 for every additional 50 workers
High Risk Work 1 other first aid officer for every 50 workers

Education and Childcare Industry

Number of Children and Staff Minimum Number of First Aid Officers
Less than 50 1
50 to 100 2
More than 100 1 additional first aid officers for every 100 children and staff

It is important to note that these are minimum requirements. Employers should assess the level of risk in their workplace and consider additional first aid officers if necessary.

Training and Certification for First Aid Officers

All first aid officers in Victoria must have a current first aid certificate. This certificate must be obtained from a registered training organisation (RTO) approved to deliver first aid training.

The first aid certificate must be renewed every three years. In addition, first aid officers must also undertake annual CPR training to ensure their skills are current.

Employers are responsible for ensuring that their first aid officers have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide first aid in the workplace. This includes providing access to training and ensuring that first aid officers have the opportunity to practice their skills regularly.

It is also essential for employers to ensure that their first aid officers are aware of any specific hazards or risks in the workplace that may require additional training or equipment. For example, if there is a risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals, first aid officers may need to undertake further training in chemical safety.

Overall, first aid officers must be trained and certified to provide adequate first aid in the workplace. This ensures employees’ safety and helps meet legal obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

A manager providing hands-on training to another employee on proper lifting techniques in a workplace setting
Manager training worker for health and safety measure in a large warehouse

Role of Employer in First Aid

Victoria’s employers are legally obligated to provide a safe working environment for their employees. One of how they can fulfil this obligation is by ensuring adequate first aid officers in the workplace.

The specific requirements for the number of first aid officers vary depending on the size and nature of the workplace. The WorkSafe Victoria website guides the minimum requirements for first aid officers based on the number of employees and the level of risk in the workplace.

Employers must ensure that their first aid officers are appropriately trained and have access to the necessary equipment and facilities. They should also ensure that first aid officers know their responsibilities and can respond quickly and effectively in an emergency.

In addition to providing first aid officers, employers should also have a first aid policy outlining the procedures for responding to accidents and injuries in the workplace. This policy should be communicated to all employees and reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains up-to-date and effective.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with the required number of first aid officers in the workplace in Victoria can result in severe consequences. Employers who do not fulfil their legal obligations regarding first aid officers may face legal action, fines, and even imprisonment. Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 mandates that employers provide a safe working environment for their employees.

If an employee is injured or falls ill at work, and there are not enough first aid officers to provide immediate assistance, the employer may face legal action. The employee may also suffer long-term consequences, including permanent disability or death.

In addition to legal action, employers who fail to comply with the required number of first aid officers may also face fines. The fine will depend on the severity of the offence and the number of employees affected.

Imprisonment is also possible for employers who fail to comply with the required number of first aid officers. In some cases, employers may face up to five years in prison for failing to provide a safe working environment for their employees.

Failure to comply with the required number of first aid officers in the workplace in Victoria can have serious consequences. These consequences may include legal action, fines, and imprisonment. Employers must ensure that they fulfil their legal obligations to provide a safe working environment for their employees.

Importance of Adequate First Aid in the Workplace

First aid is essential to any workplace, and adequate measures can help prevent injuries from becoming more serious. In Victoria, all workplaces must have first aid officers to ensure the safety of their employees.

Having trained first aid officers on-site can help ensure that employees receive prompt and appropriate care in the event of an injury or illness. It is also essential to have adequate first aid supplies, such as bandages, sterile dressings, and antiseptic solutions, readily available in the workplace.

In addition to providing immediate care, having first aid officers can also help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. They can identify potential hazards in the workplace and take steps to mitigate them, such as providing safety equipment or implementing new procedures.

Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe working environment for their employees, and adequate first aid measures are essential to meeting this obligation. It helps protect employees from harm and helps businesses avoid costly litigation and compensation claims.

Having adequate first aid measures in the workplace is crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of employees. It can help prevent injuries from becoming more serious, and it can also help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. Employers should take the necessary steps to ensure they have trained first aid officers and adequate first aid supplies readily available in the workplace.

Conclusion

The number of first aid officers required in a workplace in Victoria depends on several factors. These factors include the size of the workplace, the number of employees, and the risk associated with work activities.  Employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety and health of their employees, including providing adequate first aid facilities and personnel.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017, the minimum number of first aid officers in a workplace is determined by the number of employees. Additionally, it is influenced by the level of risk associated with the work activities. For example, workplaces with less than ten employees and low-risk work activities require at least one trained first aid officer. However, workplaces with 100 or more employees and high-risk work activities require at least one trained first aid officer for every 50 employees.

Employers need to conduct a risk assessment to determine the level of risk involved in the work activities and ensure that the required number of first aid officers is always available. Employers should also ensure that their first aid officers are adequately trained and have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide first aid in case of an emergency.

Overall, the safety and health of employees should be a top priority for employers. Having the required number of trained first aid officers in the workplace can help ensure that employees receive prompt and appropriate first aid treatment in case of an emergency.

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