Belgians estimate their own first aid knowledge incorrectly


80% of Belgians believe they can administer first aid in emergencies such as cardiac arrest, severe bleeding or cuts. Yet, Red Cross practice tests show that 35% over- or underestimate their own knowledge. High time for first-aid training.

Even though most of the population once had a first aid lesson, at school, in their company or in the youth movement, for example, 3 out of 4 people fail when they are asked to demonstrate their CPR skills. Such are the findings of the new campaign video produced by the Red Cross (source: Het Laatste Nieuws, 6 September). What is the solution? A basic course or refresher course in first aid, possibly through work.

The employer's responsibility?

In cases of cuts and severe bleeding, Belgians overestimate their own first aid knowledge, while they underestimate them when dealing with accidents involving toxic substances. However, Belgians find first aid very important: 94% would feel guilty if they could not provide help themselves. Virtually all Belgians think that a first aid training programme should be organised by schools. And 96% believe that the responsibility also lies with employers.

Training in first aid

As an employer, you are indeed responsible for the organisation of first aid. You must therefore provide for the presence of one or more trained emergency response officers in the workplace.

A first aid provider should follow a basic first aid course once, followed by a refresher course every year. It can also be every second year, if you can demonstrate based on a prior risk analysis and a recommendation by both the occupational physician and the Committee that the first aider has sufficient knowledge and skills. A simple initiation course is sufficient for a designated employee, i.e. someone you appoint to administer first aid care in your organisation.

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You can easily register online for our First Aid courses. More questions? Contact us at

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