|The Organization of First Aid in the Workplace (ILO, 1999, 70 p.)|
|4. How first aid is organized|
|4.1. Variables to be considered in the assessment of first-aid requirements|
First aid must be available in every enterprise, regardless of size, taking into account that the frequency rate of accidents is often inversely related to the size of the enterprise and that high-risk activities are not characteristic of larger enterprises alone.
In larger enterprises, the planning and the organization of first aid can be more systematic. This is because individual workshops have distinct functions and the workforce is more specifically deployed than in smaller enterprises. Therefore the equipment, supplies and facilities for first aid, and first-aid personnel and their train- ing, can normally be organized more precisely in response to the expected risks in a large enterprise than in a smaller one. The size of the enterprise also influences the cost of first aid per worker, as well as the preparations for evacuation and the transportation of injured persons when subsequent medical care is required.
Nevertheless, first aid can also be effectively organized in smaller enterprises. This important issue was examined in some detail in Chapter 1, and Annex II gives further details.
Countries use different criteria for the planning of first aid in accordance with the size of the enterprise, and no general rule can be established because of the many other variables which must be considered simultaneously. In the United Kingdom,1 enterprises with fewer than 150 workers and involving low risks or enterprises with fewer than 50 workers with higher risk are considered small, and different criteria for the planning of first aid are applied in comparison with enterprises where the number of workers present at work exceeds these limits. In the Federal Republic of Germany,2 the approach is different: whenever there are fewer than 20 workers expected at work, one set of criteria would apply; if the number of workers exceeds 20, other criteria will be used. In Belgium,3 one set of criteria applies to industrial enterprises with fewer than 20 workers, a second to those with between 20 and 500 workers and a third to those with 500 workers and more. These three sets of criteria apply to non-industrial establishments with fewer than 50, between 50 and 1,000, and 1,000 workers or more, respectively.