First aid

First aid can mean the difference between life and death. As a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), you have specific obligations relating to the provision of first aid at your workplace. 

Information on this page will assist PCBUs understand their obligations to ensure first aid is available as required.   

First aid duties 

You must provide access to: 

  • at least one first aid kit 

  • first aid facilities 

  • trained first aid people (first aiders). 

Your workers must be able to access first aid equipment and facilities, and trained first aiders, at all times. This includes night shifts, overtime and when working outside the usual workplace. 

You may work with other duty holders at your workplace to provide this first aid access. 

First aid risk assessment 

A risk assessment will help you work out your first aid needs, like equipment, facilities and training. 

Your needs may be unique to your work. Consider the type of work you do and your workplace: 

  • hazards 

  • size 

  • location. 

Your needs may also depend on how many people are in your workplace and who they are, including: 

  • workers 

  • contractors 

  • subcontractors 

  • volunteers 

  • visitors. 

It is important to consult your workers on your risk assessment and review it regularly. 

The model Code of Practice: First aid in the workplace has a sample risk assessment. 

First aid kits 

You must have at least one first aid kit in your workplace. Consider having more if your workplace is spread out to ensure the kits are easily accessible when needed. Maintain and check your kit(s) regularly. 

Keep it: 

  • in a location all workers can see and access quickly 

  • where there is a higher risk of injury or illness 

  • inside work vehicles if workers travel for their job. 

Your risk assessment will help you know what supplies to include, but it should at least have equipment for providing basic first aid.  

Think about the hazards in your workplace. For example, if you work with hot surfaces or fire, include burn treatments. 

The model Code of Practice: First aid in the workplace has an example list of what to include in a first aid kit.  

Trained first aiders 

First aiders can be your own workers or other trained people.  

Your first aiders should: 

  • hold a nationally recognised statement of attainment from a registered training organisation  

  • attend training regularly to keep knowledge current. 

First aiders may need extra training where: 

  • work is remote or isolated  

  • there are risks from dangerous substances, such as cyanide or arsenic 

  • you need specialist first aid equipment or a first aid room 

  • children are in the workplace 

  • you have identified psychological risks 

  • workers have existing medical conditions which may need first aid.  

Make sure there are enough first aiders for your workforce and they’re easy to find, for example: 

  • they could wear a high visibility vest of a certain colour 

  • you could display a contact number for first aid. 

There should be one first aider for every: 

  • 50 workers in low-risk workplaces – for example, an office 

  • 25 workers in high-risk workplaces – for example, a construction site 

  • 10 workers in remote high-risk workplaces – for example, a mine 

First aid rooms 

Your risk assessment will help you decide if you need a first aid room. Set one up if doing first aid at your workplace would otherwise be difficult.  

We recommend having a first aid room: 

  • in low-risk workplaces with 200 or more workers 

  • in high-risk workplaces with 100 or more workers. 

Supporting information