The University is required by the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 to provide adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities for providing first-aid to employees if they are injured or become ill at work. Although these regulations apply only to employees, the presence of students within the University environment should be taken into account.

On campus, Security provide a 24-hour presence and a first point of contact in many emergencies. However, a wide range of activities take place under the University's management and the nature and extent of the risks that arise from these must be considered when determining the overall level of first-aid provision that is required. Most departments provide additional trained first aiders to help cover on campus work and these may be essential where field trips are undertaken or where work is done away from the University.

We recommend that information on how to get first aid support in an emergency is displayed locally within each building.  The template below can be used to do this, although other methods are also acceptable.  This document will need to be edited to decribe local arrangements for the relevant building.

First aid notice board sign

As a minimum, a low-risk workplace such as a small office should have a first-aid box and a person appointed to take charge of first-aid arrangements, such as calling the emergency services if necessary.


HSE provide the fillowing advice on what should be in a first aid box.  British Stabndard 8599 also provides the official advice that is summarised in many online sources.

HSE "What to put in your first aid kit"


As a first step, Heads of unit should consider the hazards which are associated with the work of their unit, including travel and fieldwork. The kay factors are:

  • The different work activities (e.g. office, laboratory or animal handling)
  • The number of staff in the work place at any one time (you may need to consider mandatory first-aid cover for some staff numbers and activities)
  • Geography, both on campus and for remote locations for fieldwork
  • Lone or mobile working and shift work
  • Multiple occupancy buildings and arrangements in place at host organisations
  • Students and visitors, if applicable

An assessment of the risk which relates to each hazard should allow decisions to be taken about the nature and extent of first-aid provision that is necessary. Work involving higher risk activities such as diving, fieldwork, workshop activities etc. will require a greater level of first-aid provision than that in which there are very few hazards e.g., where the work is largely office based.

As with all risk assessments, a first aid assessment should be kept under review as circumstances may change that justify a change in first aid cover, for example, an increase in staff numbers or an accident that has highlighted first-aid cover deficiencies. Minimally, management should formally review first aid provision on an annual basis.

Details in the following table are suggestions only - they are not definitive nor are they a legal requirement.


Category of riskNumbers employed at any locationSuggested number of first aid personnel
Lower Risk (Offices / Libraries) <50 At least 1 person trained in Emergency First Aid at Work
  50-100 At least 1 first aider
  >100 1 additional first aider for every 100 people
Medium Risk (Catering / Sports & Exercise, etc.) <20 At least 1 person trained in Emergency First Aid at Work
  20-100 At least 1 First aider for every 50 people at risk
  >100 1 additional first aider for every 100 people at risk
High Risk (Laboratories / Workshops) <5 At least 1 person trained in Emergency First Aid at Work
  5-50 At least one first aider
  >50 One additional first aider for every 50 people at risk

The large number of staff and students present on the University campus means that cases of minor illness or ill health occur much more often than physical injuries. incidents such as an epileptic seizure can be distressing to those involved especially if they don't know what to do in that situation. Information from Epilespy Scotland is provided in the Quick Links section to the right to help inform campus users about this.