Are NSS nominated first aiders allowed to give tablets and medication to casualties?

First aid at work does not include giving tablets or medicines to treat illness. The only exception to this is where aspirin is used when giving first aid to a casualty with a suspected heart attack, in accordance with currently accepted first-aid practice. It is recommended that tablets and medicines should not be kept in the first-aid box.

Some workers carry their own medication that has been prescribed by their doctor (e.g. an inhaler for asthma).  If an individual needs to take their own prescribed medication, the first-aider's role is generally limited to helping them to do so and contacting the emergency services as appropriate.

However, this does not apply to the administration of prescription only medication specified in Schedule 19 of the Medicines Regulations 2012, where this is for the purpose of saving life in an emergency.  Adrenaline 1:1000 up to 1 mg for intramuscular use in anaphylaxis is an example.

Where a first aid assessment identifies that Schedule 19 medication may be required to be administered in an emergency, the employer should consider providing workplace first aiders with additional training in their use.

  • Related Board:
    National Services Scotland