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First Aid boxes“What should I have in my first aid kit?”; There is probably not a week goes by when we do not get asked this question

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

Did you know that the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) First Aid Guidelines 2015 state that when direct pressure cannot control severe bleeding, haemostatic dressings and tourniquets are to be used?

Time is critical when treating severe injuries in the field and saving time increases the chance of survival for the casualty in an emergency or hostile situation.  To be effective in real use, haemostatic dressings need to work fast.

Hemostatic dressings is a wound dressing that contains an agent that promotes blood clotting.

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 and can also include a foam wound trainer block which demonstrates how to effectively pack a wound with a Haemostatic dressing.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us 

Nigel Braybrooke, Consultant & Trainer