Who is your first port of call for first aid training? There are a few big names that come to mind when we think of first aid training, but did you know that some of these organisations and charities are not regulated or monitored?


As an employer you have a responsibility to your employees to ensure that if they are taken ill or have an accident at work they receive immediate attention. To do this effectively you must have the right First Aid equipment, facilities and most importantly trained people available.
A First Aid needs risk assessment will help you to determine the number of trained employees you require and what level of training they need to complete, whether that is an Emergency First Aid 1-day course or the full First Aid at Work 3-day course.
It may surprise you to know that some of the biggest training providers in the UK that offer these courses are not monitored or regulated in any way. What this means is that they do not have to comply with current standards and guidelines that are recognised nationally and internationally. Unregulated trainers may not be up-to date with the latest techniques, information, and guidelines, and therefore may not deliver the same quality product as a regulated trainer who is monitored and assessed by a nationally recognised awarding body, such as OFQUAL.


By selecting a non-regulated training provider, you must check through your due diligence that the training provided complies with the currently accepted guidelines for first aid practice. This can be an arduous task as involves a lot of research on your part, and the consequences fall back on you if the training delivered is not up to the required standard. With regulated trainers, you know that the training meets the required standard so there is no responsibility on you to assess this yourself – you can trust the trainer!


Here at HCS we deliver regulated First Aid training that is monitored and assessed by the awarding organisation OFQUAL, giving you the confidence that the training we provide follows and complies with current guidance and legislation. Our trained staff are audited annually by an external auditor to check the quality and compliance of our course, which is in turn reviewed by the accrediting body. This helps ensure consistency and quality on every course.

Interested in finding out more?  Click Here.

1. British health and safety law is written to be reasonable. Most laws use a risk based approach with proportionality, founded on risk assessment, as its key principal.

2. The focus on health, the long-term illness and disease caused by work, is growing. Whilst the effects may be gradual, they are often irreversible. Management of health risks is a significant focus for the HSE and should be for businesses too. Businesses who get ahead of health risk management now will save their staff and themselves significant problems in the future.

3. Often the best resource a company has in health and safety is its own employees. The people who work for you know their job intimately, they do it every single day. Their involvement and knowledge of the work and the hazards it presents is vital when trying to protect them and you.

Feel free to have a look at the variety of Health & Safety services HCS has to offer businesses of all shapes and sizes https://www.hcssafety.co.uk/member-services/

Deciding the training requirements for your staff can be a tricky proposition. The best way is usually to get organised at the start of the process. This will allow you to make smart decisions on training levels, courses required, when they will need to be done by and how to plan for the future.

For this reason most companies will run a version of a ‘training matrix’. This permits directors and managers to sit down, look at what the business needs, the skills it already has and what more may need to be done to bridge the gap.

The law requires that all staff are competent to carry out their work safely. So by identifying the tasks that staff are required to carry out, and the risks they are likely to face you will be able to work through the most important to both give them the practical skills to prevent harm to themselves and others and discharge the companies duty to ensure competence. Once you have your matrix in place why don’t you visit us and see how we can help: https://www.hcssafety.co.uk/training/

Health and safety training for your employees, and the knowledge they gain from the training, can benefit your company in several different ways. From financial benefits to personnel and morale improvements. Listed below are just a few of the ways in which training your employees in health and safety can help you as employers.

1. Firstly financially, accidents can be expensive. This could be fines, legal fees, compensation pay-outs or statutory sick pay. Not only will having a well-trained workforce, with a clear understanding of how to work safely with regards to their own, and those around them, safety reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring and enduring the above financial costs. The fact that the staff are trained, could also work in your defence, should any accident lead to a court case.

2. Reducing the likelihood of accidents by training your employees to work safely can also have a big effect on staff turnover. If you can reduce employee absences due to work related accidents or illness, then you will save the cost and time in recruitment replacement or cover staff members. Not only this, but if an existing staff member feels safe then they are less likely to want to move on and find somewhere else to work.

3. Staff morale is a key issue for any business. You want your employees to feel happy and actually want to work for you. Creating a work environment where everyone is able to play an active role in health and safety is known to have far fewer accidents. Providing members of staff with health and safety training demonstrates to them that take bother their safety and well being seriously. Knowing that they are working somewhere safe will make them happier as they’re not worried about what could go wrong.

4. Health and safety training can also help you with building a positive reputation with not only your employees, but also your clients. Providing the correct training and investing money into doing so, shows that your care about your business and your staff. This will help your brand and could even swing potential deals in your favour, if clients feel they won’t need to worry about any accidents going forward.

For all information on any of our provided training courses and to book a place, please click here.

Too many times I’ve seen burnt workers, guys wandering around in the hottest part of the day without a top or sun protection on. I’ve been scoffed at by my guy friends when I’ve offered them sun cream– even though they know my story.

Many of you would have noticed my long absence around May last year. That is because on the 4th May ‘17, after 10 months of marriage, my husband Sam passed away from Melanoma Metastasis. He was days away from his 34th birthday.

I first spotted the mole on Sam’s back in July 2014. He was moley generally, with fair skin, but this one looked a little different. It had an odd red blemish on one side. I told him he should have it looked at, as a precaution. “Why? I haven’t ever had bad sunburn!” he told me. It wasn’t until April 2015 when the mole started to rub on his shirt whilst he was at the gym that he listened to me and had it looked at. And it was cancer. He had surgery to remove all 0.5mm of it, and we thought that was the end of that. We carried on with life and got engaged that July in Rome.

April 2016, and Sam comes out of the shower with concern on his face- he’s found a lump in his underarm. A visit to his surgeon and a biopsy confirms the worst. He undergoes more surgery, and radiotherapy is booked as a precaution- “Belt and braces” they called it. They postpone it slightly for our wedding in July, so after a 6 day honeymoon we are back at the hospital every day for 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Chemotherapy is not an option for Melanoma. It’s too aggressive. During the radiotherapy bruising and lumps start to appear all over his body. We call his surgeon. Sam had gone stage 4. In September 2016 we are told that the cancer was not only all over his body, but it was now in his lungs and brain.

We took the medication and steroids and carried on with life as best we could. No one could give us timescales. All we knew is that these drugs would keep him going until the cancer adapted, mutated so that it was immune to the treatment. So we decided to carry on with life as best we could, travelling to Budapest for my 31st birthday, buying our first home together, trying to start a family.

13 days after moving into our first home together, Sam passed away suddenly. It was exactly 1 week after being told that the brain tumours were mutating and fighting his medication.

People don’t seem to take things seriously until it happens to them, or someone they know. Well, I’m here to tell you that now you do know someone. I’m a widow at 31. We were trying to start a family- but it wasn’t meant to be.

Sam wore sun cream. He covered up. And he still got cancer. Cancer can happen at any age and Melanoma is by far the most difficult to treat. We have come so far with cancer treatments, but we are still very much in the dark when it comes to treating skin cancer. Why increase your chances of getting it for the sake of not protecting your skin? Spending 5 minutes popping some cream on? So before you take your shirt off, singe your skin whilst sat in the pub garden and think you’ll be ok… just ask yourself. Is it worth it?

I wouldn’t wish the pain of losing my best friend, the man I was to spend the rest of my life with, on my worst enemy.

This isn’t ‘health and safety gone mad’. It’s common sense.


You can read Jess’s original article on Linkedin.

The CITB have recently changed their rules regarding their levy scheme- and users are being caught out.

Those who have signed up for, and are part of CITB’s grant scheme, can now only claim money back from training courses held at a training centre that has been awarded an ATO (CITB Approved Training Organisation).

HCS Safety is pleased to announce that we are now an ATO, proving that our teaching reaches an industry recognised standard, as well maintaining our ability to help you claim back as part of the CITB Grant Scheme.

The CITB grants scheme provides grants for employers in the construction industry to train their workers.

You can claim grants if you are an employer registered with CITB and you send a Levy Return by 31 December each year. Small employers that don’t need to pay the levy can still claim grants.

CITB grants are for training and qualifications completed in the grant scheme year (1 April of this year to 31 March of the next year).

You claim grants after your employee finishes their training or gains their qualification. If a course runs over more than one grant scheme year, you make separate claims for each year.

CITB has recently changed the way it supports training for the construction industry, including the introduction of ATOs.

CITB describes an ATO as ‘an organisation which provides construction training courses and qualifications to a defined and industry agreed training standard.’

If you book and complete a CITB course through a company that is not a registered ATO, you will not be able to claim anything back.

For more information or to ensure your places on any of our CITB courses, please contact our training team on 02380 894695.

  By Andy Bishop, Health and Safety Consultant

“What on earth?”, “there are no barriers”, “do they not know the risks they are exposing themselves to?”. ‘Why are so many people up there?’. My Safety Bloke brain was going into overdrive as I struggled to take in the image I was transfixed by.

I don’t like Mondays’ tailed off on the radio and Jeremy Vine mentioned something about gun law in the US and Bob Geldof. As he started his next item my ears pricked up. He mentioned a public awareness campaign taking place in London which aimed to get men talking about mental health.

It started to dawn on me, this was the picture I was staring at. Gradually, realisation sunk in – ‘every two hours’ – ’84 a week’ – ‘4368 a year’.

These figures are shocking, they refer to the number of men who commit suicide every day, every week, every year in the UK alone. The 84 statues represent those poor souls for whom life has proved too much. Men in their prime who don’t have anywhere left to turn, who think that the only way is down, looking for some way to end their pain, their torment, their anguish.

As I listened and Googled the information, I was haunted by this image and the powerful message that it portrayed. All the statues are clothed, some in casual hoodies and jeans, others wearing suits and ties, some in uniforms, some in work wear, some are black, some are white, some are young, some are older a cross section of men in the UK. The single common denominator that all of them share is the overwhelming, all consuming desire to end their lives.

I remembered my own journey which took me closer to the edge than I dare recall and all the feelings associated with it. At this point I started to weep as I remembered two of my close friends who found themselves in similar positions. Both gave no outward signs that they were suffering. I was reminded of my friend’s son at the graveside, sobbing uncontrollably as his Daddy was lowered. I remember how I felt seeing and hearing that, it is an image that will never, ever leave me.

I remember my daughter hugging me tightly and saying through tears ‘promise me you won’t ever do that’.

I have learned that suicide does not end the pain, it’s simply a transfer of ownership. Those that are left behind don’t get any answers, the whys and wherefores, the reasons.

…And I can see no reason, ‘cos there are no reasons, what reason do you need to be sure…

Talking about emotions and feelings, stresses and poor mental health is not something that comes naturally to men, we tend to see it as weakness until it goes to far. We are geniuses at hiding our emotions from people, putting on a brave face.

But every two hours of every day, somebody’s Partner, Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Family and Friends take ownership of that brave face and have to wear it for the rest of their lives.
Gents, let’s get together and end the stigma associated with our mental health. It’s definitely not weak to speak.

For more information about Project 84 and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), please see their website https://www.projecteightyfour.com

A couple of weeks ago, Uber hit the headlines when a test of one of their driver-less vehicles hit and subsequently killed a woman in the street in Tempe, Arizona.

Tempe police said the self-driving car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and that the vehicle hit a woman, who was walking outside of the designated crosswalk with a bicycle and later died in hospital. There was a vehicle operator inside the car at the time of the crash. The self-driving technology is supposed to detect pedestrians, cyclists and others and prevent crashes.

Uber has been testing its self-driving cars in numerous states and temporarily suspended its vehicles in Arizona last year after a crash involving one of its vehicles, a Volvo SUV. When the company first began testing its self-driving cars in California in 2016, the vehicles were caught running red lights, leading to a high-profile dispute between state regulators and the San Francisco-based corporation.

This week, Governor Doug Ducey released a letter he sent to Uber, forbidding the company resuming the self-driving tests in the state of Arizona.

A video showing the incident has been released. It shows the car’s operator looking down for about 5 seconds before it collides with the pedestrian.

“I found the video to be disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona,” wrote Mr Ducey.

He added that he had ordered officials to suspend the firm’s right to drive autonomous vehicles on local roads pending the outcome of inquiries by national transport safety regulators.

The Governor’s tone contrasts with a statement given in 2016, when Mr Ducey said he welcomed the company’s self-driving fleet “with open arms and wide open roads”.

A 28 year-old woman is fighting for her life after a tower crane dropped its load next to Bow Corner in central London.

She was walking past a Higgins Homes site on Tuesday (27th March) morning when she was crushed by what is reported to be a pallet load of bricks, released from a five-storey crane.
Police officers from Tower Hamlets were called to the scene, in Burdett Road at the junction with St Paul’s Way, at 9.38am. The London Ambulance Service attended, and the woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries, a man was also treated for shock.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Police in Tower Hamlets are dealing after a woman was injured by falling debris. Officers were called at 9.38am. A woman has apparently been struck by debris falling from a building site crane.

“London Ambulance Service attended and the woman was taken to an east London hospital in a critical condition. Her next of kin have been informed.”

A spokesman said: “We sent a number of resources to the scene including an incident response officer, a motorcycle responder, two single responders in cars and two ambulance crews. We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance by car.

“We treated a woman at the scene for serious injuries and took her as a priority to a major trauma centre. We also took a second person to hospital.”
Video footage showed a crowd of people rushing to help her as she lay injured on the pavement in Burdett Road. Witnesses said the woman was given CPR by passers-by until the emergency services arrived.

The HSE are working with local authorities to investigate the cause of the accident.

ELCAS is the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) which promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces, and HCS Safety are delighted to announce it is now an ELCAS accredited training centre.

The scheme provides financial support for training purposes in the form of a single, up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years.

The aim of this support is to ease the transference from the armed services to civilian life and HCS Safety are proud to be a part of this venture.

Claims must be submitted before the 10th anniversary of the delegates last day of service if they left before 1st April 2011.

If they left between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2016 (both dates inclusive), they will expire on 31st March 2021.

If they left as of 1st April 2016 or later, they expire on the 5th anniversary of their last day of service.

Any courses booked MUST start before this date.   

If you have any staff who have left the armed forces in the last three years, or know of friends or family that this could benefit, their training could be part or fully funded under this scheme.

Please contact the training team for further information, or visit the ELCAS website.