How to ensure your First Aid kit meets workplace health and safety standards

In 2015 HSE overhauled its recommendations for first aid kits in the workplace and included reference to BS 8599 – 1. Although there isn’t a mandatory list of items to include in a first aid box, we recommend following British Standard recommendations as they have been designed to fit real-life business needs.

By following this checklist, you can ensure that your first aid kits won’t leave you short in an accident or emergency.

Embrace the critical changes to recommendations:

  • Increased number of gloves, and to avoid allergies nitrile gloves are included.
  • Decreased number of triangular bandages as they’re not recommended for immobilising injured limbs.
  • The inclusion of small absorbent wound dressings for finger injuries, water-based burn gel, clothing shears, resuscitation mouth shields and foil survival blankets.
  • Replacement of alcohol-free wipes with sterile saline wipes for broken skin.

Perform comprehensive risk assessments

As every workplace is different, it’s important to identify the risks in yours before purchasing any kits. Offices have very different first aid requirements to factories.

High-risk environments

If there is a risk of a major bleed injury, ensure critical injury packs are provided, these include:

  • Gloves
  • Foil blankets
  • shears
  • large trauma dressings
  • haemostatic dressings
  • emergency tourniquets

Pack size matters

Each first aid kit or critical injury pack will serve a maximum number of people, ensuring you have enough packs to cover the maximum number of people on your site at any given time. Each pack also serves fewer people in high-risk environments.

Industry-specific products:

  • Burn kits are required in environments where there is high-risk of burn.
  • Bodily fluid kits are required in high care industries and where there is a risk of bodily fluid spillage.
  • Eyewash kits are required in industries where chemicals are used if mains tap water is not readily available or transportable.
  • Blue metal detectable plasters are required in the food and beverage, and food preparation industries as they are easily identifiable in food products.

As there is a wealth of first aid and life-saving products on the market, at Aero we stock more than 1,000 ourselves, it can be an overwhelming challenge to find those that truly fit your business needs.

For more information on the exact guidelines for different business environments, download our Ultimate Guide to First Aid or browse our First Aid catalogue.

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