SSG guidance for first aid and first aid training during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

SSG guidance for first aid and first aid training during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

  • Date: Friday 3rd July 2020
  • PDF: Download

Check your first aid needs assessment

As an employer, when reviewing your risk assessment to include working during the outbreak, consider refreshing your first aid at work needs assessment.

Ask your first aiders if there are any factors that should be taken into account as part of your risk assessment, for example vulnerable workers with first aid responsibilities.

You should discuss the risk assessment with your first aiders so they are confident about providing the right assistance. This includes knowing what equipment they can use to minimise risk of infection transmission, as explained below.

Guidance for first aiders

Try to assist and assess at a safe distance from the casualty as much as you can and minimise the time you share a breathing zone. If you need to provide assistance to an individual who is symptomatic and may have Covid-19, wherever possible, place the person in a place away from others. If there is no physically separate room, ask others who are not involved in providing assistance to stay at least two metres away from the individual. If barriers or screens are available, these may be used.

If they are capable, tell them to do things for you, but treating the casualty properly should be your first concern. Remember the 3P model – preserve life, prevent worsening, promote recovery.

Preserve life: CPR

  • Call 999 immediately – tell the call handler if the patient has any Covid-19 symptoms
  • Ask for help. If a portable defibrillator is available, ask for it
  • Before starting CPR, to minimise transmission risk, use a cloth or towel to cover the patient’s mouth and nose, while still permitting breathing to restart following successful resuscitation
  • If available, use:
    • a fluid-repellent surgical mask
    • disposable gloves
    • eye protection
    • apron or other suitable covering
  • Only deliver CPR by chest compressions and use a defibrillator (if available) – don’t do rescue breaths

Prevent worsening, promote recovery: all other injuries or illnesses

  • If you suspect a serious illness or injury, call 999 immediately – tell the call handler if the patient has any Covid-19 symptoms
  • If giving first aid to someone, you should use the recommended equipment listed above if it is available
  • You should minimise the time you share a breathing zone with the casualty and direct them to do things for you where possible

After delivering any first aid

  • Ensure you safely discard disposable items and clean reusable ones thoroughly
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser as soon as possible
  • Advise anyone who had close contact with the individual that if they go on to develop symptoms of Covid-19 they should follow the advice on what to do on the NHS website

Cleaning the area where assistance was provided

  • unCleaning will depend on where assistance was provided. Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned in the usual way however, all surfaces that a symptomatic individual has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected

What we’re doing to make our first aid training safe for your delegates

The venue

The main infection risk in a classroom full of learners is contact with other people and/or surfaces. All of our classrooms and training facilities are thoroughly cleansed using the innovative Toucan system. All welfare areas and touch points are cleansed four times a day in addition to a thorough cleaning at the end of every day. Alcohol gel has been sited in all classrooms and rest and welfare facilities and at reception and stairway landings. We have staggered our course start times to prevent large numbers of candidates arriving at the same time and reception, toilets and classrooms have been adapted to incorporate 2m social distancing protocols.

The Training

Delegates will be sent a link to our new induction video prior to their course which give full details of what they should expect and requirements for training. If a delegate has any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (e.g. new persistent cough, high temperature, loss or change to sense of smell or taste) they must not attend training. If a delegate becomes symptomatic during a course, they will be removed from training and can be rescheduled on a later course. Delegates always need to observe a high standard of handwashing, with alcohol gel provided in addition to handwashing facilities.  Social distancing measures will remain in place at all times and we have reduced our course delegate numbers to facilitate this. 

We will operate a 1:1 delegate to manikin ratio on our CPR training with delegates using the same manikin throughout. Alcohol wipes will be available, and all manikins will be thoroughly cleansed at the end of training and the lungs replaced. If delegates prefer to, they may adopt compression only CPR techniques.

We have altered our training practices to ensure that staff and delegates remain socially distanced during practical training and gloves will always be available. Delegates may wear their own masks or face coverings should they wish to do so although these will not be provided.

Should you require any further information and to book your course please contact the SSG team on 01752 201616 or email us at

Source: Tom Watkinson

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