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Do our drivers need first aid training?

Q: We operate a licensed club that provides courtesy buses to patrons. While we have first aid kits in our buses, our drivers are not trained in first aid. Do we need to provide our drivers with first aid training?

A: Under section 43 of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) at a workplace must ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid at the workplace; or workers have access to an adequate number of other persons who have been trained to administer first aid. The meaning of ‘workplace’ extends to a vehicle, and therefore the bus would be considered a workplace.

A PCBU has work health and safety obligations to ensure, so far is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of workers and other in the workplace, including in the courtesy bus. The concept of ‘reasonably practicable’, in essence, means those steps that are reasonably able to be done at the time they must be implemented. Another factor included in the concept of ‘reasonably practicable’ is cost. The cost to implement any particular control is only to be considered a factor that would exclude the step being implemented if the cost is grossly disproportionate to the extent of the risk of harm. It is likely that it would be reasonably practicable for your business to train drivers to administer first aid.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to First aid for current advice.

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