How many first aiders are needed?

There is no hard and fast answer. The number of first aiders and appointed persons depends on the level of risk, the number of staff and special factors like the number of shifts and sites your employer operates. Have a look at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance.

The HSE leaflet First aid at work: Your questions answered  provides some guidance on the number of first aiders depending on the level of risk identified.

Risk category: low (e.g. shops, offices and libraries)

  • Fewer than 50 employees: at least one appointed person;
  • 50-100 employees: at least one first aider; and
  • more than 100 employees: one additional first aider for every 100 employed.

Risk category: medium (e.g. light engineering, food processing plants and warehouses)

  • Fewer than 20 employees: at least one appointed person;
  • 20 to 100 employees: at least one first aider; and
  • More than 100 employees: one additional first aider for every 100 employed.

Risk category: high (e.g. construction sites, chemicals manufacture and work with dangerous machinery)

  • Fewer than 5 employees: at least one appointed person;
  • 5 to 50 employees: at least one first aider; and
  • More than 50 employees: one additional first aider for every 50 employed. 
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.