First aid kit contents

There is a new British Standard for first aid kits. BS8599 replaces the BHTA-HSE kits 10, 20 and 50 person first aid kits that you may have in the workplace.

What do I need to do?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise that a first aid needs assessment should be carried out to establish the contents of a first aid box. This assessment may mean that you have a first aid kit that complies with BS8599 and matches your needs assessment or that you have a first aid kit that matches your needs assessment but does not comply with BS8599.

There is no legal requirement to alter the contents of your first aid kits or purchase kits that comply with the British Standard but your first aiders will probably wish them to be updated to reflect current first aid practice.

The size of your kit and the number of pairs of gloves, plasters, wipes, dressings and bandages etc. will depend on the number of employees you have and the level of risk associated with your activities. The following information should help with your assessment of this:

Low Hazard e.g. shops, offices

  • Less than 25 employees – 1 small kit
  • 25-100 employees – 1 medium kit
  • More than 100 employees – 1 large kit per 100 employees

High hazard e.g. engineering, warehousing, processing, work with machinery, construction, chemical manufacture etc.

  • Less than 5  – 1 small kit
  • 5 – 25 employees  – 1 medium kit
  • More than 25 employees  – 1 large kit per 25 employees

With regards to the size of your first aid kit, please find below some guidance on the current contents of a medium sized first aid kit under BS8599:

  • 6x Medium HSE Dressing 12cm x 12cm Sterile
  • 2x Large HSE Dressing 18cm x 18cm Sterile
  • 3x Triangular Bandage 90cm x 90cm x 127cm
  • 12x Safety Pins Assorted
  • 3x Eye Pad & Bandage Sterile
  • 60x Assorted Wash proof Plasters Sterile
  • 30x Saline Cleansing Wipes
  • 1x Micro porous Tape 2.5cm x 5m
  • 9x Nitrile Gloves (Pair)
  • 3x Finger Dressing with Adhesive Fixing 3.5cm x 3.5cm
  • 1x Resuscitation Face Shield
  • 2x Emergency Thermal Blanket
  • 2x Burn Dressing 10cm x 10cm
  • 1x Small Tuff Cut Scissors Black 6”
  • 2x Conforming Bandage 7.5cm x 4m
  • 1x First-Aid Guidance Leaflet:

Please remember, once you have the right kit and contents it is important that regular checks on the contents are carried out and any problems or replenishing of stock are recorded. These checks should include a check on the expiry dates of sterile bandages etc. to make sure out of date stock is replaced.

If you would like any further information or guidance with this, please contact your Drury health and safety consultant directly or call head office on 01274 626200.