What Should be in a First Aid Box

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require first-aid equipment to be provided as required and state that it should be easily accessible. The minimum requirement is to provide a first-aid box, clearly marked and containing essential first-aid equipment.

There is no defined list of mandatory contents in the regulations. What you include in each box should be determined by your first-aid needs risk assessment.

Reference may be made to the national standard, BS 8599-1:2019 Workplace First-Aid Kits. Most first-aid kits for sale on the market comply with this standard but you are free to include different contents as dictated by your local needs.

Reference might also be made to the example list included in the guidance on the regulations published by the HSE. Appendix 2 of L74 First-Aid at Work states that typical first-aid box contents in a low hazard environment will include:

  • 20 individually-wrapped sterile plasters
  • two sterile eye pads
  • two individually-wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile
  • six safety pins
  • individually-wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings (two large and six medium-sized)
  • at least three pairs of disposable gloves
  • a first-aid leaflet.

It is advised that the choice of gloves is made with reference to the risks of allergies caused by some latex gloves. Latex-free or nitrile (synthetic rubber) gloves are available.

Scissors or shears, cleansing wipes and a contents list (for restocking purposes) are also commonly included in first-aid boxes. HSE’s Basic Advice on First-Aid at Work is a good example of a leaflet to include.

L74 recommends that tablets and medicines should not be kept in the first-aid container.

The size, number and placement of your first-aid boxes will also be determined by your first-aid needs assessment. Considerations will include the number of employees, remoteness from emergency medical support, and the category of hazard identified in the workplace environment.

Boxes should be placed around the premises where they will be needed most and where they can be accessed easily.

Any vehicles run by the organisation should have a first-aid travelling kit on board (see L74 for details).

First-aid boxes should be regularly checked and restocked or replaced as necessary. Many items in a first-aid kit will have a limited shelf-life and should be checked to ensure they are still in date.

If you require first aid training, email us for approved suppliers.

If you have any queries, please contact us.

 

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