Did You Know the HSE has Updated Their Guidelines for Workplace First Aid Kits?

What has changed?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have recently released an update to their First Aid at Work – Guidance on Regulations. This includes a change to their recommendations for first aid kit contents. The HSE no longer list quantities of the individual supplies required in a workplace first aid kit. Instead, the document now simply lists a guide to suggested items that should appear in a kit.

British Standard First Aid Kits

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.’

The BS 8599-1 workplace first aid kit standard sets the minimum recommended content that workplace first aid kits should conform to. It also provides guidance on the size and number of kits required, dependent on the number of employees and level of hazard in the workplace. Please note that employers are responsible for evaluating the level of risk on their premises and this information is only guidance.








The main differences in the British Standard Compliant kits compared to the HSE kits are:

  • An increased number of disposable gloves: these must be nitrile – eliminating risk of latex allergies
  • A decreased number of triangular bandages as they are no longer used to immobilise injured limbs
  • Smaller, absorbent wound dressings for finger injuries
  • Water based, sterile gel burn dressings which do not require any pre-cooling with water and a conforming bandage to secure
  • Clothing cutters to cut bandages and remove clothing from around a wound
  • Resuscitation face shield, providing a protective barrier for administering mouth to mouth resuscitation
  • Heat-reflecting foil survival blanket to help keep a casualty warm in cases of clinical shock or exposure to cold temperatures
  • Sterile saline wipes instead of alcohol-free wipes, meaning they can now be used on broken skin













Is now the time to update your workplace first aid kit?

If you haven’t already, it is time to think about updating your current workplace first aid kit to a British Standard First Aid Kit.

The contents of the British Standard Compliant first aid kits have been developed to take into account more modern and functional products. These encompass a wider range of common risks and are much more comprehensive than the previous HSE compliant kits.

There are a wide range of British Standard Workplace First Aid Kits available for you to choose between including portable kits, kits with wall brackets and fully comprehensive first aid points, helping you pick the most suitable for your workplace.

Keep up to date with all health and safety guideline changes

Safety First Aid Training is here to guide you through updates and regulation changes that take place. We will bring you up-to-date advice and expertise as and when further details are announced from the HSE, including any changes to first aid training requirements. Our first priority is taking the worry out of getting first aiders’ trained to the correct standards.

For the full HSE first aid guidelines please click here. See appendix 2 of the document to focus on first aid kits in the workplace. To book one of our expert Ofqual-approved first aid courses, click here and find the right course for your workplace health and safety needs.