Cover Image
close this bookThe Organization of First Aid in the Workplace (ILO, 1999, 70 p.)
close this folder3. Responsibilities and participation
close this folder3.1. Responsibilities of the employer
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1.1. Equipment, supplies and facilities
View the document3.1.2. Human resources
View the document3.1.3. Other


First aid must be considered as part of working conditions and sound management, just as making work safe is an essential measure in this respect. The employer must be responsible for organizing first aid and ensuring that it is provided. There may, however, be special situations where other forms of organization may derive from existing patterns of the health services. Each country will have to choose the best method of defining this responsibility and of setting out specific requirements.

Experience in countries where first aid is strongly established suggests that the best way to ensure an effective system is to make it mandatory by legislation. In countries which have chosen this approach, the main requirements are set out in specific first-aid legislation or, more commonly, in national labour codes or similar regulations. In these cases, subsidiary regulations contain more detailed provisions. In most cases, the overall responsibility of the employer for providing and organizing first aid is laid down in the basic enabling legislation. Some examples of first-aid legislation are given in Annex I. Unfortunately, still today, the legal basis for organizing and providing first aid is weak in many countries. This should be corrected.

The responsibility of the employer needs definition in specific terms. Subsections 3.1.1 to 3.1.3 list the principal responsibilities which the employer is usually asked to meet (more details are contained in Chapters 4 and 5).