Changes to workplace first aid kits

The Health and Safety (First Aid) regulations 1981 make it clear that employers must provide appropriate and adequate first aid equipment. However, it’s been apparent for some time that the 1997 HSE guidelines regarding the required contents of your workplace first aid kits were outdated and inadequate.

As a result, new guidance has been issued, and your workplace first aid kits should be compliant with these with immediate effect.

 Choosing the right kit

If you are a low risk workplace (ie a shop, an office etc) you will need:

  • 1 x small kit (if you have <25 staff)
  • 1 x medium kit (if you have 25-50 staff)
  • 1 x large kit per 100 staff (if you have >50 staff)

If you are a high risk workplace (ie construction sites, slaughter houses, anyone working closely with chemicals), you will need:

  • 1 x small kit (if you have <5 staff)
  • 1 x medium kit (if you have 5-25 staff)
  • 1 x large kit per 25 staff (if you have >25 staff)

BS 8599-1 compliant kits

The British Healthcare Trade Assoication (BHTA) has devised the new kits to better reflect the potential for accidents in the workplace. Any workplace first aid kit must now comply with BS-8599-1 standards. A small kit will contain:

  • 1 x leaflet on first aid guidance
  • 1 x contents list
  • 4 x medium sterile dressings
  • 1 x large sterile dressing
  • 2 x sterile eye dressings
  • 2 x finger sterile dressings
  • 2 x Triangluar bandages
  • 6 x safety pins
  • 40 x individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings
  • 20 x saline cleansing wipes
  • 1 x roll of adhesive tape
  • 6 x pairs of Nitrile disposable gloves
  • 1 x resus face shield with a one-way valve
  • 1 x foil blanket
  • 1 x burn dressing
  • 1 x scissors (suitable for cutting clothing)
  • 1 x conforming bandage