First aid

Accidents will happen in even the most organised establishment. Therefore, it is important that the correct first aid procedures are in place to treat someone who requires medical assistance.

First Aid legislation states that:

  • There must be one first aid box per 150 people
  • There must be one named qualified first aider per 150 people
  • There must be a ‘responsible person’ in charge of first aid
  • First aid boxes must be regularly checked for content
  • First aid boxes must be easily accessible

A first aid kit must contain the following:

  • Sterile dressings
  • Wound dressings
  • Sticky plasters
  • Sterile cotton wool/eye pad
  • Pressure bandages
  • Safety pins, scissors, tweezers
  • Eye bath
  • Rubber/latex/plastic gloves
  • Triangular bandages
  • Distilled water
Items from a first aid kit.

The first-aider must have a knowledge and understanding of how to treat minor injuries and accidents

Burns or Scalds

A burn is caused by dry heat e.g. hot pan whilst a scald is caused by moist heat e.g. boiling water/steam/hot oil.

To treat a scald or burn:

  • You need to cool the area of the skin that has been affected by immediately placing under cold running water for at least 10mins or until the stinging stops.
  • DO NOT apply cream, as this will seal the heat in.
  • Leave uncovered

If a burn is larger than that the casualties hand, medical assistance must be sought. In the meantime:

  • Take casualty away from the heat source
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery
  • Do not apply creams or gels
  • Cover the burn with Clingfilm
  • Treat for shock


To treat cuts:

  • The first aider must wear gloves or wash and dry their hands
  • Apply pressure to the cut
  • Raise injured area to help minimise bleeding
  • Flush with cold water (distilled if available in the first aid kit)
  • Clean, dry and apply a blue, waterproof plaster to the cut
  • Blue plasters are used as they show up easily in food if they fall off - a thin metal strip shows up on the x-ray machine used at the end of a food processing line in factories

Severe bleeding

  • The first aider must wear gloves or wash and dry their hands
  • Remove any clothing around the wound
  • Don’t remove any objects that might be lodged in the wound
  • Apply pressure around the object or directly on the wound if there is no object
  • Apply pressure and place a sterile dressing on the injury
  • Phone 999 for medical assistance
  • Lie the injured person down with their legs raised to prevent shock
  • Secure the dressing with a bandage
  • Check circulation every ten minutes and the person’s level of response


Falls happen when people slip on wet, greasy or dirty floors or when someone faints.

To treat someone who has fallen:

  • If the person is lying on the floor, do not help them up. Check for response and inquire about any injuries before moving them.
  • Place in the recovery position and allow them to sit up slowly when they feel up to it.
  • Check again for injury and seek medical help if necessary.