ST JOHN Ambulance is urging Cheshire businesses to prepare for changes to first aid in the workplace on October 1.

The changes, proposed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will see the biggest overhaul of first aid in the workplace for 25 years and employers who don’t prepare could face fines or, worse, risk the welfare of employees.

Now St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid organisation, is on a mission to ensure everyone is aware of how the new guidelines will affect them and their business.

Richard Evens, commercial marketing director at the charity, said: “It’s a sad fact that 180 people die every year from injuries caused at work.

“This number has gone down from 233 fatalities the previous year, which shows how taking health and safety seriously can make the difference between life and death.

“We strongly recommend that businesses embrace the changes to continue to make our workplaces as safe as possible and ensure that, if an accident does happen, they are well prepared.”

Medium-risk businesses will be reclassified as low or high risk, meaning they will have to train more people to comply with regulations.

Firms will also need a qualified emergency first aider in the workplace who will require a one-day training course. The four-day first aid at work course is being streamlined from four days to three.

Refresher first aid courses can be booked with St John Ambulance, which has its Cheshire base on the Countess of Chester Health Park, by calling 01244 383407 or email