What Should Be In Your Workplace First Aid Kit

What Should Be In Your Workplace First Aid Kit

However big or small a workplace is, a correct first aid kit is always needed to safeguard employees. According to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) statistics from 2020/21, there were unfortunately 1.7 million people in the UK suffering from a work-related illness, with over 51,000 injuries to employees.

But who has responsibility for this, and what first aid kit and items are needed to cover a range of workplace injuries? This guide will run you through the Law, which first aid items employers may need, HSE and BSI standards and more, to fully equip a workplace with suitable protection.

HSE Standard First Aid KitsHSE Standard First Aid Kits
HSE Standard First Aid Kits
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HSE First Aid Kit Refill Packs
HSE First Aid Kit Refill Packs
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HSE Workplace First Aid Kits - PGBHSE Workplace First Aid Kits - PGB
HSE Workplace First Aid Kits - PGB
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What does the Law say?

To determine which first aid kit would be most suitable for them, employers should complete risk assessments of their workplace. The assessment should consider these factors:

  • Workplace risks and hazards
  • The type of work undertaken
  • The number of employees
  • The number of trained first aiders, and any times they may be absent
  • The facilities available for first aid kit (storage)
  • Previous injuries that have occurred in organisation

These aspects can all affect the type of first aid kit that should be supplied for the workplace. It is also important to consider the differences in various workplaces that a company may have, as some sites may be more remote and have travelling or lone employees. Alongside this, employers should take into account whether any employees work in shared sites and any first aid provisions for non-employees.

What has changed?

The guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is often updated, with a recent change for working from home and recommendations for first aid kit contents.

Recent changes have brought in the need for organisations to consider the potential impact of home-working on employees’ mental health, especially for workers who are “deprived of social contact through work, who can feel isolated or disconnected”.

This guidance has been adapted for organisations working through the pandemic – the HSE also suggested that ‘in-person visits to workers’ homes’ may be a necessity, to conduct effective risk assessments and ensure employee safety, wherever they choose to work from.

The recently updated HSE guidance also no longer lists quantities of the individual supplies required in a workplace first aid kit, instead now simply listing a guide to suggested items that should appear in a kit.

But what are these items?

Which first aid items should be used?

The British Standard

A range of workplace first aid kits are detailed in British Standard BS8599-1. Kits with this tag have been specifically designed to help fully comply with the HSE code of practice and guidance, and keep the user covered under the law with a comprehensive range of contents for a wide range of workplace injuries. The standard is regularly reviewed to keep it up to date. The BS8599 range comprises:

While these kits are recommended, there are other options also available. When it comes to selecting the correct kit for you, the contents of an employer's chosen first aid kit should be based on the risk assessment. If the environment is deemed as low-risk (e.g office, retail), these are the items the HSE recommends as a minimum:

  • A leaflet with general guidance on first aid (for example, HSE's Basic advice on first aid at work leaflet)
  • Individually wrapped sterile plasters of assorted sizes
  • Sterile eye pads
  • Individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile
  • Safety pins
  • Large and medium-sized sterile, individually wrapped, unmedicated wound dressings
  • Disposable gloves

They also use this as a guide for the level of first aid kit you should provide, depending on the number of employees at the workplace.

Low-risk guidance

Number of employees Level of first aid kit
Less than 25 Small
25-100 Medium
More than 100 Large - 1 per 100 employees

High-risk guidance

Number of employees Level of first aid kit
Less than 5 Small
5-25 Medium
More than 25 Large - 1 per 25 employees

Our range of first aid kits

At First Aid Warehouse, we stock a range of kits that are detailed in British Standard BS8599-1:

BS 8599-1 Compliant First Aid Kit

These comprehensive kits provide an employer with the British Standard of components and contents, to allow adequate first aid provision. The kits come in durable green cases, which can easily be held, stored or placed in suitable locations for quick and immediate access. All manner of workplace injuries can be covered with these kits, from cuts, grazes, sprains, strains and minor burns.

We stock different sizes of this model:

Small - suitable for 1-10 people

Medium - suitable for 10-20 people

Large - suitable for 20-50 people

Blue Dot BS8599-1 Travel Kit In Vivo Box

This model is specifically designed for use by employees who use their vehicles for work. The light but durable box is highly visible, and compact enough to be stored wherever is most suitable for the user. It comes in one size.

Alternative products

HSE Eclipse First Aid Kits

The Eclipse Kit range is a dependable option for covering a range of basic workplace injuries, and is lower in price than the BS 8599-1 Kits. However, it features a less comprehensive selection of contents - we suggest reviewing the risk of your work environment when selecting the ideal kit. We stock different sizes of this model:

Small - suitable for 1-10 people

Medium - suitable for 10-20 people

Large - suitable for 20-50 people

HSE First Aid Kit Refill Packs

These refill kits are HSE compliant, meaning they’re perfect for restocking HSE workplace first aid kits after usage - they’re also available in 3 sizes:

Small - suitable for 1-10 people

Medium - suitable for 10-20 people

Large - suitable for 20-50 people

Be sure to check out our full stock of First Aid Kits and various refill supplies here. If you have further questions about first aid kits in the workplace, or any of the products that we stock, contact us to find out more.