There is no such thing as a HSE approved first aid kit, and anyone who tells you otherwise might be a bit confused about the regulations!
There is a British Standard for first aid kits (BS8599) but, although these kits are normally suitable as workplace first aid kits, using a BS8599 kit isn’t a legal requirement. These kits come in small, medium, large and travel versions and contain a good complement of first aid equipment.
The HSE offer advice, but don’t specify what should be in a first aid kit. If you’ve been following our series of blogs you’ll probably have guessed that this comes down to your first aid needs assessment.
Your assessment should help you to decide what sorts of incidents you are most likely to have in the workplace. This in turn helps you to decide what sort of first aid equipment you need in your kits, as well as how many you should have and where they should be sited. If you choose to use a BS8599 first aid kit you should ensure that you provide additional equipment and training to deal with any specific issues raised in your first aid needs assessment.
An example of this might be a tree surgeon who decides that, in addition to a small personal first aid kit, they will carry specialised wound dressings designed to stop major bleeding because of the risk of serious injury caused by use of a chainsaw.
Some of the equipment in your first aid kits has ‘use by’ dates stamped on the packaging. You should be careful to replace items as they come to the end of their useable life. Dressings begin to disintegrate over time and cannot be guaranteed to be sterile beyond their expiry date.
So now that you’ve identified the first aid needs in you workplace, it might be time to train up some first aiders and invest in some first aid equipment. Borderlands can help you with the training and a few good sources of equipment are:
We hope this mini-series of blogs has been helpful, and feel free to drop us a line with any comments or queries.