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First Aid in the workplace - what you need to know in 2022

First Aid in the workplace - what you need to know in 2022

Posted by DS Medical on 6th Jun 2022

It’s well known that employers need to ensure they have sufficient first aid measures in place if people are taken ill or injured in the workplace, but do you know exactly what is needed?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.

Is your workplace compliant with the HSE Regulations 1981 and are you using BS8599 compliant first aid kits?

What is 'adequate and appropriate' will depend on the circumstances in the workplace. This includes whether trained first-aiders are needed, what should be included in a first-aid box and if a first-aid room is required. Employers should carry out an assessment of first-aid needs to determine what to provide.

The HSE refer to these enhanced British Standard first aid kits in their latest First Aid at Work - Guidance on Regulations publication. The HSE states that "employers may wish to refer to British Standard BS 8599 which provides further information on the contents of workplace first aid kits."

As part of your risk assessment, consideration should ensure that adequate and appropriate measures are in place. These include:

  • Whether first aiders are required and standard of training
  • What should be included in the first aid box
  • If a first aid room is required?

Further guidance and tools can be found on the HSE website here. 

Decide on the first aid kit

Once you have assessed the risk of the workplace, next it’s time to decide on the size of the first aid kit needed.

Our First Aid kits (BS8599) guidance below should help you choose the right kit for your workplace.


Low Risk: 1 kit for less than 25 employees

High Risk: 1 kit for less than 5 employees


Low Risk: 1 kit per 25-100 employees

High Risk: 1 kit per 5-25 employees


Low Risk: 1 kit per 100 employees

High Risk: 1 kit per 25 employees


1 Medium Kit

A first aid kit should contain the medical essentials to treat a range of injuries. Below is a comprehensive list of what is included in the Steroplast Large First Aid Kit from DS Medical, as an example of the types of medical equipment you should consider for your workplace first aid kit:

  • Plasters
  • Gloves
  • Burns Dressing
  • Resuscitation Shield
  • Guidance Leaflet
  • Scissors
  • Sterile Finger Dressings
  • Sterile Eyepad Dressings
  • Sterile Medium Dressings
  • Sterile Large Dressing
  • Conforming Bandage
  • Triangular Bandages
  • Foil Blanket
  • Microporous Tape Roll
  • Sterile Saline Wipes

Catering first aid kits are specially designed to treat common industry related injuries such as burns and cuts, and include blue plasters which can easily be identified if they come off during food preparation. These are available in two sizes, depending on the size of the workplace. For businesses needing to create bespoke kits, our Unkitted First Aid Bag offers a flexible option, with five separate coloured pouches and clear vinyl windows to help you find exactly what you need, quickly in an emergency!

Remember to store your workplace first aid kit in a cool, dry place that is easily accessible in emergencies, but also out of reach from young children.

Depending upon your requirements there are two other kits available to meet your need under BS8599-1:2019 Standard, these are:

  • Personal Issue First Aid Kit– Ideal for security personnel, cleaners, self-employed, and people working across different locations during their shift. At DS Medical, you can choose from a bum bag style or handy carry bag which are both BS8599-1:2019 compliant.

  • Critical Injury Pack – These kits are designed for high risk industries where there is a risk of severe injury, including agriculture, forestry and people operating cutting equipment, dangerous machinery and power tools.

For more information on our range of first aid supplies suitable for the workplace, get in touch with our team of experts by calling 01329 311451 or email us at