The contents of your workplace first aid kit should be guided by your first aid needs assessment, this should take into account the level of hazards, workplace environment and number of employees. Footfall of members of the public also falls under the Health and Safety Executive's recommendation to offer a duty of care to people on your premises.
A basic workplace first aid kit should include:
- Plasters: used for small cuts and grazes.
- Dressings: used to apply pressure to larger wounds and help to stop bleeding.
- Bandages: used to support joints, hold dressings in place, put pressure on wounds and to stop swelling.
- Scissors: used to cut bandages or sticky tape or someone’s clothing if you need to get to a wound.
- Disposable gloves: used to reduce the risk of infection.
- Face shields or pocket masks: used to prevent infection when you give rescue breaths.
- Cleansing wipes, alcohol free wipes: used to clean the skin around the wound.
- Adhesive tape: used to hold dressings or the loose end of bandages in place.
- Foil blankets: used to help retain body heat in survival, emergency and first aid situations.
Unsure what first aid kit you need?
Use our requirements calculator to help figure out the first aid needs of your workplace. It will provide guidance on how many first aiders and first aid kits you require.
Please note, the calculators are for guidance only and do not replace the need for a full first aid needs assessment in your workplace.
Workplace first aid kits
Use your risk assessment to identify which first aid kit you need. It will depend on your type of workplace (whether it is high-risk, such as a warehouse, or low-risk, such as an office), and how many people the first aid kit is for.
Some workplaces will require specialist first aid kits. For example, if you work in a catering environment, a catering first aid kit will contain blue plasters and tape to be easily visible.
We recommend that workplace first aid kits conform to the British Standard BS 8599-1. All our workplace first aid kits conform to this standard.
British Standard 8599-1 Review
In 2011, the British Standard Institution published the British Standard for workplace first aid kits, BS8599-1:2011. This standard has now been reviewed and a new standard BS8599-1:2019 has been published in January 2019.
Why is the standard changing?
British Standards can be reviewed after 5 years if feedback from users indicates a need to update the specifications.
What has changed in the standard?
Currently four sizes of workplace kits are available – small, medium, large and a travel size kit. Two new kits have been added to supplement the workplace kits - a Personal Issue Kit and a Critical Injury Pack.
The Personal Issue Kit is a small kit that can be issued to individuals while the Critical Injury Pack is designed for the treatment of catastrophic injuries.
In addition to the creation of the new kits, there have been changes to the composition of the workplace kits:
- Safety pins have been removed and the number of tape rolls has been increased in the medium and large kits.
- The number of medium dressings has been reduced while the number of large dressings has been increased.
Finally, the travel first aid kit has been renamed the Travel and Motoring Kit and its components amended to conform with the requirements of the British Standard for motor vehicle first aid kits BS8599-2:2014. This means the contents of the Travel and Motoring Kit now has the same components as the Medium Motor Vehicle Kit.
When was the standard launched?
The new standard was published on 10 January 2019 with a 12-month transition period.
Note - Conforming with the British Standard is voluntary and not required by law
Once you have completed your risk assessment, browse our range of kits.