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First aid expert concerned about possible law changes

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently launched a consultation on planned changes to first aid laws in the UK and it seems that not everybody is entirely happy with the proposals.

At the moment, companies that want to train their staff to administer emergency aid need to use an organisation that has been accredited by the HSE.

The regulator thinks this is unnecessarily burdensome and by removing the stipulation, firms will find it easier to find a suitable training programme.

While the amendments - which could be enforced from October 1st 2013 - are clearly well intentioned, head of first aid education for voluntary group British Red Cross, Joe Mulligan, is concerned about the impact these alterations might have.

In a recent blog post, Mr Mulligan suggested that first aid training in the workplace is more important than ever, but he fears the absence of a governing body may see standards slip.

"Will training standards fall? Can employers really be expected to monitor the effectiveness of the trainers they hire?" he pondered in his blog post.

"But more than this, there's a real danger the move might devalue the very notion of first aid training in the public consciousness. And that would be very bad news indeed," Mr Mulligan added.

He suggested that Britain currently has a much better health and safety record than other European countries and the presence of skilled first aiders is one reason for this.

Using occupational injury statistics in order to assess workplace safety performances is somewhat tasteless, as each piece of data relates to an actual person, who has a family, friends and loved ones.

In Mr Mulligan's view, it is important to remember that these people are still walking around today because of the fast and calm actions of a qualified first aider, who had been trained by an accredited instructor.

The HSE launched its consultation into the potential law changes on March 25th and it was scheduled to last for six weeks, which means people still have time to air their views on the situation (consultation closes on May 3rd).ADNFCR-3408-ID-801576416-ADNFCR

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