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Tip of the Month: First Aid Box Contents by Acorn Health & Safety

There is probably not a week goes by when we do not get asked: “What should I have in my first aid kit?”

To start off with, there is no mandatory list of items to be included in a first-aid kit, the decision on what to provide will be influenced by the findings of the first-aid needs assessment.

 

However, there are two sources of guidance which will provide a starting point;

  1. HSE’s Guidance on the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (L74)

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
  • individually wrapped sterile plasters (assorted sizes), appropriate to the type of work (hypoallergenic plasters can be provided if necessary);
  • sterile eye pads;
  • individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile;
  • safety pins;
  • large sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings;
  • medium-sized sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings;
  • disposable gloves
  1. British Standards Institute Specification for the contents of a workplace first aid kit BS 8599-1 (2011)

The below would be representative of a medium sized first aid kit

  • 2 x Conforming Bandage
  • 3 x Non-Sterile Non-woven Triangular Bandage
  • 2 x Foil Space Blanket – Silver – Adult Size
  • 1 x General First Aid Guidance Card
  • 2 x Burnshield Dressing
  • 30 x Alcohol-Free Wipe in Foil Sachet
  • 9 x Purple Nitrile Examination Gloves (pairs)
  • 3 x No 7 Sterile Finger Dressing
  • 3 x Eye Pad Sterile Dressing
  • 6 x Medium Sterile Dressing
  • 2 x Large Sterile Dressing
  • 60 x Assorted Waterproof Plasters
  • 1 x Low Allergy Tape
  • 1 x Mouth-To-Mouth Resuscitation Face Shield
  • 1 x Trauma Shears – Black
  • 2 x Safety Pins, Assorted – Bunch of 6

First aid kits should be checked regularly to confirm they are appropriately stocked and that the items have not passed their expiry date, this will vary on different products from 3 to 5 years.

We also cover basic First Aid Box contents on our First Aid at Work Training courses 

Nigel Braybrooke, Training Manager & Consultant