What are the Requirements for First Aid Kits in the Workplace?

The national independent regulator for health and safety in the workplace is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  Its guidelines state that employers are required to ensure that their employees receive immediate help when taken ill or injured at work.

The HSE revealed that in 2021/22, the estimated annual costs of workplace injury and new cases of work-related ill health reached £20.7 billion, representing a £1.9 billion increase compared with 2019/20. The figures also show that 135 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2022/23, while 561,000 workers sustained a self-reported non-fatal injury in the workplace during the same period, with slips, trips or falls making up 32% of non-fatal incidents.

The legal requirements set out by HSE, states that “employers have the responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety."

The requirements cover every workplace and those who are self-employed. Failing to meet, first aid at work regulations, may result in a penalty.

Employers must have the following:

  • A suitably stocked first aid kit
  • An appointed person or people to take charge of first aid arrangements.
  • Information for all employees telling them about first aid provision.

What needs to be in a workplace first aid kit?

View HSE standard first aid kits for workplace. 

HSE first aid kits contain varying quantities of the following items: first aid guidance leaflets, plasters, eye pads, triangular bandage, safety pins, medium dressings, large dressings, wound cleansing wipes, gloves.

To get an idea of the first aid kit your workplace needs, you must begin by assessing your first aid requirements. Consider the risks prevalent in your environment, the size of your workforce, and the history of accidents in your business. For example, if the nature of your work is office-based, then a standard first aid kit will likely fit the bill. If, however, staff carry out manual tasks using high-risk industrial tools and machinery, then you may need to acquire the likes of critical injury packs and burns first aid kits.

It’s important that you regularly check your first aid kit. This is crucial not just for keeping an eye on stock levels, but also for monitoring the expiry dates on sterile items and checking that non-sterile items are still fit for purpose. Out of date, opened or damaged items can render a first aid kit non-compliant.

Business owners themselves are best placed to carry out this assessment, and the contents of a first aid kit must ultimately be based on the findings.

Find out more about the different types of first aid kit and the items they contain here.

First aid training

Should you require first aid training, it’s important to note that employers are responsible for checking that those who train their employees are competent. The HSE states that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the number of first aiders required in a workplace, adding that it very much depends on the nature of the workplace and its location.

When it comes to providing staff with first aid guidelines and knowledge on procedures, it’s beneficial to display a first aid poster.

Looking for First Aid Training?

Wallace Cameron Training is our recommended training partner. It provides in house or external training courses, covering first aid, occupational health and first aid for mental health,

Do I need to provide employees working from home with a First Aid Kit?

Self-employed or homeworkers are responsible for their own first aid provision. Those who carry out desk-based work from home are unlikely to require anything more than a basic first aid kit. However, those based in a shared workspace, can make joint arrangements with the co-occupiers by written agreement, establishing one employer as responsible for the first aid of all workers on the site.

At First Aid Warehouse, we stock a range of first aid kits of all sizes. You’ll also find first aid refill packs and their individual components, that are ideal for ensuring you’re regularly replenishing the items you need. We also offer discounts on bulk and repeat orders.

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