Do all workers who work from home need to be issued a first aid kit and be a qualified first aider? Our business is in Queensland.
Under regulation 42 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations (Qld), a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is required to ensure the provision of first aid equipment at a workplace. As you are aware, the definition of workplace under the Work Health and Safety Act 2009 (Qld) is broad, and therefore the requirement to provide first aid equipment under regulation 42 applies when workers are working from home as well as when workers are performing work in the office.
However, determining what specific items of first aid equipment need to be provided will require a consideration of the actual working from home environment, paying specific attention to the nature of the work being conducted and any workplace hazards. Helpfully, Safe Work Australia published the Code of Practice First Aid in the Workplace, which contains additional guidance for providing first aid equipment at Chapter 3. There is no explicit requirement for PCBUs to ensure that all working from home employees are qualified first aiders under the Work Health and Safety Regulations.
To comply with the duty to provide first aid under Regulation 42 (2), PCBUs are required to ensure:
- an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid when working from home; or
- workers have access to an adequate number of other persons who have been trained to administer first aid.
Importantly, first aid might be accessible through emergency services being called to the home. Determining what is an “adequate number” of workers who are trained in first aid will require a consideration of the requirements of the work, including the number of days that work is performed at home.