What Should Be in a First Aid Kit at Work?

what should be in a first aid kit at work

A workplace first aid kit is an essential component of ensuring the health and safety of your employees. In the event of an injury or illness, having the necessary supplies readily available can make all the difference in providing immediate care. However, it can be overwhelming to determine what should be included in a first aid kit for your workplace. This article will guide you through what should be in a first aid kit and the essential items that should be in your workplace first aid kit, based on industry recommendations and best practices.

When considering the contents of a first aid kit, it is important to conduct a first aid needs assessment specific to your workplace. This assessment takes into account the nature of work activities and associated risks. For low-risk environments, such as desk-based work, a minimum first aid kit might include sterile plasters, eye pads, triangular bandages, safety pins, wound dressings, and disposable gloves. However, it is always recommended to consult with a first aid professional and consider the unique needs of your workforce.

Additionally, it is essential to choose a first aid kit that meets the British Standard (BS) 8599. These kits are specifically designed to provide adequate and appropriate first aid supplies for different workplace settings. Regularly check and replace the contents of the kit, especially items with expiry dates, to ensure the kit remains well-stocked and effective in times of need.

Key Takeaways:

  • A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for ensuring the health and safety of your employees in the event of an injury or illness.
  • Conduct a first aid needs assessment specific to your workplace to determine the appropriate contents for your first aid kit.
  • Consider the nature of work activities and associated risks when choosing the contents of your first aid kit.
  • Look for a first aid kit that meets the British Standard (BS) 8599 to ensure it provides adequate and appropriate supplies.
  • Regularly check and replace the contents of the kit, especially items with expiry dates, to maintain a well-stocked kit.

Importance of First Aid at Work

First aid at work is crucial for immediate attention in case of illness or injury. It can save lives and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure appropriate first aid arrangements are in place. The level of first aid equipment and personnel required depends on the workplace’s health and safety risks. This may include providing a suitably stocked workplace safety first aid kit, appointing a person to take charge of first-aid arrangements, and providing information to employees about the first-aid arrangements.

Creating a safe work environment involves preparing for potential emergencies. A workplace safety first aid kit should be readily available to address immediate health concerns and injuries. Having the right workplace emergency first aid equipment ensures that employees can receive timely and effective care until professional medical help arrives, if necessary. Employers need to understand the importance of investing in comprehensive first aid measures to prioritize the well-being of their workforce.

“Having a well-equipped first aid kit and trained personnel in the workplace is essential. It ensures that immediate attention can be given to any medical emergency, reducing the risk of further harm or complications. First aid skills are valuable in alleviating suffering, promoting recovery, and even saving lives.”

By providing appropriate first aid arrangements, employers demonstrate their commitment to employee safety and welfare. This helps foster a positive work culture, where employees feel supported and confident that their health needs will be addressed in case of an emergency. Employers should regularly review and update their workplace first aid protocols to align with best practices and evolving health and safety guidelines.

Implementing first aid measures not only ensures prompt and effective care but also promotes a proactive approach to workplace safety. It empowers employees with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively to emergencies, potentially minimizing the impact of injuries or illnesses. First aid practices are essential in all industries and work environments, from offices to construction sites, as unexpected incidents can occur anywhere.

In the event of an accident or medical emergency, when time is of the essence, having readily available workplace first aid supplies and trained personnel can make a significant difference. The immediate application of first aid measures can stabilize a person’s condition, prevent further injury, and increase the chances of a full recovery. Workplace safety should always be a top priority, and comprehensive first aid arrangements play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

Conducting a First Aid Needs Assessment

To ensure the appropriate first aid provision for your workplace, conducting a comprehensive first aid needs assessment is essential. This assessment takes into consideration various factors, such as the nature of your workplace, the size and composition of your workforce, and the hazards and risks associated with your specific work environment.

By conducting a thorough assessment, you can determine the level of first aid equipment, facilities, and personnel needed to meet the requirements of your workplace. This helps ensure that you have the necessary resources in place to effectively respond to any potential injuries or illnesses that may occur.

There are several guidelines and checklists available to assist you in conducting a first aid needs assessment for your workplace. These resources help you identify the specific items and quantities required for a well-stocked first aid kit and the necessary facilities for providing first aid.

First Aid Kit Checklist for Work

When conducting a first aid needs assessment, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive checklist for your workplace first aid kit. This checklist ensures that you include all the essential items necessary to handle common injuries or medical emergencies.

First Aid Kit Checklist Description
Sterile plasters For covering small cuts or wounds
Eye pads To treat eye injuries or foreign bodies
Triangular bandages For supporting broken limbs or making slings
Safety pins Used with bandages and dressing to secure them in place
Wound dressings To cover larger cuts or wounds
Disposable gloves For protecting yourself and others when giving first aid

Remember, these are just some of the essential items that should be included in your workplace first aid kit. The specific items may vary depending on the nature of your work and any unique risks associated with your industry.

It’s important to regularly review and update your first aid kit checklist to ensure that you have the necessary supplies available when emergencies arise. Regularly check the expiration dates of items and replenish supplies as needed.

By conducting a thorough first aid needs assessment and ensuring a well-stocked first aid kit, you can create a safer and more prepared work environment for your employees. Remember, the safety and well-being of your workforce is of utmost importance.

First-Aiders and Appointed Persons

Depending on the first aid needs assessment, you may need to appoint a trained first-aider or an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements. A first-aider should have received appropriate first aid training, while an appointed person does not require formal training. The minimum level of first-aid equipment includes a suitably stocked first-aid kit. Additional materials and equipment may be required based on the needs assessment.

Must-Have Items for Workplace First Aid Kit Quantity
Sterile plasters (assorted sizes) 20
Wound dressings (assorted sizes) 8
Triangular bandages 4
Disposable gloves 20 pairs
Safety pins 8
Eye pads 4

In addition to these essentials, consider including the following items in your workplace first aid kit:

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Resuscitation face shield
  • Burn dressing
  • Emergency foil blanket
  • Instant cold pack
  • Pain relief medication
  • Emergency contact numbers

Remember to regularly check and restock your first aid kit to ensure it remains fully equipped to handle workplace emergencies.

International Certificates and Recognition

In certain cases, employees may have received their first aid training or certificates from Northern Ireland or another country outside Great Britain. It’s important for employers to verify the syllabus content and training standards to ensure that they are equivalent to the requirements set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

When selecting a workplace first aid training provider, consider their credentials and reputation. Look for providers that are accredited and recognized by reputable organizations in the field of first aid training. They should have certified trainers and comprehensive training programs that cover essential topics and skills.

Choosing a competent training provider is crucial to ensure that your employees receive high-quality first aid training that meets the necessary standards. This not only enhances their knowledge and skills but also ensures that your workplace is equipped with trained individuals who can effectively respond to emergencies.

Guidance for Selecting a Workplace First Aid Training Provider

  1. Research: Start by researching different workplace first aid training providers. Look for well-established organizations that have a strong track record and positive reviews.
  2. Accreditation: Check if the training provider is accredited by recognized bodies or institutions in the field of first aid. This accreditation ensures that the provider meets specific standards and delivers quality training.
  3. Curriculum: Review the training provider’s curriculum to ensure that it covers the necessary topics and skills required for workplace first aid. The training should align with the guidelines set by HSE.
  4. Trainers: Find out if the trainers are qualified and experienced in delivering first aid training. They should have relevant certifications and expertise in the field.
  5. Training Methods: Consider the training methods used by the provider. Look for interactive and practical training sessions that allow participants to apply their knowledge in realistic scenarios.
  6. Flexibility: Check if the training provider offers flexible training options, such as on-site training or online courses. This ensures that the training can be tailored to your specific workplace needs and scheduling requirements.

By selecting a reputable workplace first aid training provider, you can ensure that your employees receive the necessary knowledge and skills to respond effectively to workplace emergencies. This, in turn, contributes to a safer and more prepared work environment.

First Aid Equipment and Facilities

When it comes to workplace safety, having the right first aid equipment and facilities is crucial. A suitably stocked first-aid box is the minimum requirement for every workplace. It should be easily accessible and contain all the necessary items for handling common injuries and illnesses. Additionally, larger sites should have multiple first-aid kits strategically placed for quick access.

It’s important to ensure that the contents of the first-aid kits are suitable for the specific circumstances of the workplace. Consider factors such as the nature of the work, the number of employees, and any potential hazards. This ensures that you have the necessary supplies to address various situations and provide effective first aid when needed.

In some cases, a first-aid room may be necessary, especially in larger premises or high-hazard areas. A first-aid room provides a dedicated space for administering care and can be equipped with additional facilities to support more complex medical procedures. The room should be well-equipped and include essential items such as an examination couch, washable surfaces, heating, ventilation, lighting, and easy accessibility.

Benefits of a First-Aid Room

A first-aid room offers several advantages, including:

  • Providing a dedicated space for administering first aid
  • Ensuring privacy and comfort for the injured or ill
  • Allowing for more complex medical procedures
  • Centralizing first aid equipment and supplies
  • Creating a safe and organized environment
  • Facilitating proper documentation and record-keeping

Having a first-aid room demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of your employees and helps create a safer working environment overall.

Facilities Description
Examination Couch An easily accessible and comfortable surface for treating injuries and conducting examinations.
Washable Surfaces Surfaces that can be easily cleaned and disinfected to maintain hygiene standards.
Heating A warm environment that promotes comfort and aids in the treatment of certain conditions.
Ventilation Adequate airflow to ensure a fresh and breathable atmosphere within the first-aid room.
Lighting Proper illumination that facilitates visibility and enables accurate assessment and treatment.
Easy Accessibility A location that is easily accessible to all employees and emergency services if needed.

By providing the necessary first aid equipment and facilities, you can effectively respond to workplace injuries and illnesses, ensuring the well-being of your employees and complying with health and safety regulations.

Maintaining First Aid Kits and Facilities

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of first aid kits and facilities in the workplace. By following proper maintenance procedures, you can ensure that your first aid resources are readily available and in optimal condition when needed. Here are some essential steps to keep in mind:

1. Check the Kits Frequently: Regularly inspect the first aid kits to ensure that they are properly stocked and equipped with the necessary supplies. This includes items such as bandages, wound dressings, and disposable gloves. Make it a habit to conduct routine inspections and restock the kits promptly after any use.

2. Dispose of Expired Items: Pay attention to the expiry dates of the contents in the first aid kits. Expired items should be safely disposed of and replaced with fresh supplies. This ensures that the kit remains up to date and ready for use in emergency situations.

3. Assess Non-Sterile Items: While sterile items have clear expiry dates, non-sterile items may become damaged or unsuitable for use over time. Regularly assess the condition of non-sterile items such as safety pins, triangular bandages, and other reusable components. Replace any items that show signs of wear and tear or damage.

4. Maintain Clean and Tidy Facilities: First aid rooms and facilities should be kept clean, tidy, and easily accessible at all times when employees are at work. Regularly clean and sanitize surfaces to ensure a hygienic environment. Additionally, ensure that the facilities are well-organized, with equipment stored properly for easy access when needed.

5. Guidelines for Specific Equipment: Certain first aid equipment, such as defibrillators, have specific maintenance and upkeep guidelines. Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for the maintenance of such equipment. This helps ensure their functionality and effectiveness during critical situations.

By following these maintenance practices, you can help create a safe and prepared workplace environment, equipped to handle any emergency that may arise.

guide to defibrillator maintenance and upkeep

Maintenance Steps Importance
Regularly inspect and restock first aid kits Ensures availability of necessary supplies
Safely dispose of expired items Prevents use of ineffective or potentially harmful supplies
Assess non-sterile items for damage or wear Maintains the quality and usability of reusable components
Keep first aid facilities clean and tidy Promotes a hygienic and accessible environment
Follow guidelines for specific equipment maintenance Ensures proper functionality during critical situations

Reporting and Record-Keeping

As an employer, it is crucial to fulfill your legal obligation to report and keep records of workplace accidents, incidents, and work-related illnesses. Reporting these incidents not only helps identify patterns but also aids in completing thorough risk assessments to prevent future occurrences. By keeping accurate and confidential records, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your employees while protecting their personal information.

To report workplace accidents and incidents, follow the specific regulations and requirements applicable to your organization based on the number of employees and the type of workplace. Prompt reporting allows authorities to investigate the incident promptly and take appropriate actions to prevent similar incidents in the future.

When documenting workplace accidents and incidents, be sure to include essential details such as the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as a description of what occurred. Remember to keep all records confidentially and securely to maintain the privacy of individuals involved.

Benefits of Reporting and Record-Keeping:

  • Identify patterns and trends
  • Identify areas for improvement in workplace safety
  • Help in completing thorough risk assessments
  • Provide evidence for insurance claims, investigations, and legal proceedings

“Effective reporting and record-keeping play a vital role in creating a safe and secure working environment for everyone.”

Key Elements of Reporting and Record-Keeping Benefits
Timely reporting of incidents Enables immediate actions and investigations
Accurate documentation of incident details Evidence for insurance claims and legal proceedings
Maintaining confidentiality of records Respects privacy and protects personal information
Identifying patterns and trends Helps in implementing preventative measures

Additional Resources

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides comprehensive guidelines and resources for workplace first aid. These resources are valuable references for employers to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees. Whether you are conducting a first aid needs assessment, determining the requirements for first aid equipment, or looking for information on first aid training providers and first aid room facilities, the HSE guidelines cover it all.

HSE First Aid Guidelines

In addition to the HSE guidelines, employers can access a variety of first aid books and resources from HSE Books. These materials provide further insights, tips, and guidance on workplace first aid, empowering employers and employees alike to be well-prepared for any medical emergency that may arise.

“Having access to reliable and up-to-date resources is essential for creating a safe and secure working environment for everyone.”

By staying informed and utilizing the HSE first aid guidelines, as well as the additional resources available, employers can effectively implement best practices and ensure the highest standard of first aid care in the workplace. Together, these resources serve as valuable references that support the well-being and safety of employees, promoting a culture of health and resilience.

The Role of the First Aider

As a first aider, you play a vital role in providing immediate attention to the injured or ill in the workplace. Your responsibilities include:

  • Providing immediate assistance: When someone is injured or falls ill, it is your duty to assess the situation, provide first aid treatment, and offer comfort and reassurance.
  • Calling emergency services: In cases of severe injuries or life-threatening situations, it is crucial to call emergency services promptly. This can help ensure that professional medical help reaches the scene as quickly as possible.
  • Taking charge of first-aid arrangements: As a first aider, you are responsible for managing the first-aid arrangements in your workplace. This includes ensuring that first aid kits are stocked and accessible, reporting any incidents or accidents to the appropriate personnel, and maintaining records of first-aid treatments.

To carry out your role effectively, it is essential that you receive proper first aid training. This training equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to respond appropriately in emergency situations. It covers topics such as first aid at work and emergency first aid at work, enabling you to provide immediate and effective care to those in need.

Employers should ensure that their designated first-aiders receive training from a competent first aid training provider. This ensures that the training meets the necessary standards and requirements for workplace first aid. By investing in first aid training for employees, employers create a safer and more resilient work environment.

Remember, as a first aider, your role is critical in safeguarding the well-being of your colleagues. Your skills and expertise can make a significant difference in emergency situations, potentially saving lives and minimizing the impact of injuries and illnesses.


In preparation for workplace emergencies, it is essential to have a well-stocked first aid kit and appropriate first aid arrangements in place. By conducting a thorough first aid needs assessment, employers can identify their specific requirements and ensure the provision of trained first-aiders or appointed persons to handle emergencies effectively.

Regular checks and restocking of first aid equipment are crucial to maintain a safe working environment. This includes disposing of expired items and ensuring the availability of sterile and functional supplies. Additionally, proper maintenance of first aid rooms and facilities ensures easy accessibility and prompt response to accidents or injuries.

Record-keeping is vital for reporting and analyzing workplace incidents, aiding in the identification of potential risks and the implementation of preventive measures. By adhering to the guidelines provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other relevant resources, employers can ensure compliance with legal requirements and create a workplace that prioritizes the health and safety of its employees.

Looking For First Aid Training In The North East? 

Join First Aid and Safety Training for nationally recognised, enjoyable and effective First Aid Courses and Training either onsite at your workplace anywhere in the North East or attend one of the open Emergency First Aid courses at our South Shields First Aid Training Centre. If you have any questions, please send an email to admin@firstaidsafetytraining.com, call 0191 7166601 or send us a message online.

Level 2 & 3 Qualifications | Certificates valid for 3 years | Ofqual regulated | 1, 2 or 3-day courses | Qualsafe Awards | EYFS Compliant | HSE Complaint

Picture of Adam


Adam is the lead trainer at First Aid and Safety Training, with a background in the Military and the Police he has a wealth of first hand experience and knowledge about First Aid. If you have any questions about First Aid or our training courses, all you need to do is send us a message online or give us a call on 0191 7166601.

First Aid and Safety Training

Do you need to be qualified in First Aid or are you looking to improve your skills to ensure that you can deal with any first aid emergency? Contact FIrst Aid and Safety Training today for affordable First Aid Courses and Training.


Follow Us

Workplace First Aid Courses

All of our First Aid Courses can be completed on-site at your workplace for up to a maximum of 12 learners. 

The training can also be completed as a group booking at our Training Centre in South Shields.

We run a number of open courses every month at our Training Centre. Check the booking page for upcoming daes.

First Aid Courses

Qualsafe Registered Training Centre

As a Qualsafe Registered Training Centre (0907302) you are guaranteed of the highest quality of First Aid training that is accredited and regualted (Ofqual) ensuring that your qualification is nationally recognised.

Recent Posts

First Aid Articles

Sign up for our Newsletter

We will never share your details with anyone outside of First Aid and Safety Training.

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top