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What should be in a first aid kit? New British Standard Workplace First Aid Kits (BSI)


Posted by Jo O'Donovan   |   30 Jul

Categories : First Aid First Aid Equipment

What should be in a first aid kit? New British Standard Workplace First Aid Kits (BSI)

BS 8599 BSI Compliant First Aid Kits have been introduced for the workplace

What Should be in a Workplace First Aid Kit?

There is no mandatory list of contents for first-aid boxes and HSE does not 'approve' or endorse particular products. Deciding what to include should be based on an employer's assessment of first-aid needs. As a guide, where work activities involve low hazards, a minimum stock of first-aid items might be:

  • a leaflet giving general guidance on first aid
  • 20 individually wrapped sterile plasters (assorted sizes), appropriate to the type of work (you can provide hypoallergenic plasters, if necessary);
  • two sterile eye pads;
  • four individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile;
  • six safety pins;
  • two large, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings;
  • six medium-sized, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings;
  • a pair of disposable gloves

This is only a suggested contents list and you should do your own risk assessment at your workplace and base your decision on equipment that you will actualy need/use. If mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, at least one litre of sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9%) in sealed, disposable containers should be provided. When the seal has been broken, containers should not be reused. Containers should not be used beyond their expiry date. A good starting point for what should be in a first aid kits are the new British Standard first aid kits which have been introduced recently.

British Standard First Aid Kits

These BSI enhanced first aid kits are based on the HSE first aid kits but with added extras. There are more pairs of gloves, small dressings and plasters. Other useful items such as eyewash, burn dressings, foil blankets, face shields and clothing cutters have been added.

NEW British Standards have been issued for the provision of First Aid within the workplace - BS 8599-1:2011

Over the last 14 years the first aid industry has complied with the guidelines as set out in the Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations Approved Code of Practice 1997. This document outlined a range of advice to employers for the provision of first aid within the workplace.

Over the past decade the requirement of the contents of a first aid kit has evolved and this has been recognised by the British Healthcare Trade Association who has worked, analysed and developed a solution that is fit for purpose in today's workplace environment.

The contents of these British Standard first aid kits is more comprehensive than the HSE 10 20 and 50 person kits. The HSE first aid kits remain valid and are ideal as a basic kit great for adding contents that are specifically needed in your particular work environment.

Which First Aid Kit do I require?

Similar to the HSE first aid kits the content of the new BS-8599-1 Compliant Workplace First Aid Kits are appropriate for use based on a combination of the risk of the workplace and the number of employees and visitors.

The table available to download on the pink button below can be used as a guide to ascertain which compliant first aid kit you require for your workplace - please note that it is the duty of the employer to make an assessment of the first aid needs appropriate to the circumstances of your workplace and the below acts as a guide only.

Where there are special circumstances, such as remoteness from emergency medical services, shiftwork or sites with several separate buildings, there might need to be more first aid kits than set out in Table 2.

Click on the Link Below to see the first aid Kits and their contents:


BSISML – Small        

BSIMED – Medium     

BSILRG – Large          


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