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GUIDE TO BRITISH STANDARD COMPLIANT FIRST AID KITS COMPLYING WITH BS 8599-1

In recognising the need to ensure current workplace first aid provisions are adequate and appropriate, BHTA (British Healthcare Trade Association) and the British Standards Institute (BSI), have developed a new British Standard for workplace first aid kits.  

The new kits are based upon the minimum requirements set out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in their approved code of practice L74. The contents of the kits take into account more modern and functional products encompassing a wider range of common workplace risks, changes in training protocol, increase concern with infection management and new innovations in the first aid now becoming less costly and are therefore more comprehensive than the previous HSE compliant kits.

BS 8599-1 is the standard that sets the new minimum level that workplace first aid kits should conform to. 

The new standard provides recommendations on the size and number of first aid kits required based on the type of workplace environment and the number of employees within each significant workplace area. 

Should the risk or numbers of employee deem it necessary the minimum contents as set out in the standard can be supplemented by additional items appropriate to the hazards identified by the risk assessment.  This may result for example in increasing the number of burns dressings where a significant risk os burn injury is likely.

BSI FIRST AID KITS INCLUDE:

  • Nitrile Gloves (not Vinyl), therefore, eliminating possible latex allergies.
  • Smaller Absorbent Wound Dressings for finger injuries, plasters are sometimes inadequate.
  • Adhesive Tape to secure bandages without the use of Safety Pins although Safety Pins are still supplied.
  • Burn Dressing; the majority of workplaces will have a risk from burns even from having something as simple as a kettle.
  • Clothing Cutters to cut bandages and remove any clothing from around the wound.
  • Resuscitation Face Shield to provide protection to both the First Aider and the casualty during CPR.
  • Foil Blanket to keep the casualty warm in case of clinical shock or exposure to cold temperatures.
  • Sterile Wipes to replace moist Wipes and can, therefore, be used on broken skin.

WHAT SIZE KIT DO YOU NEED?

The size of the BSI First Aid Kit required is dependent on a combination of the level of risk and the number of employees in the workplace.  The table below provides guidance for employers but does not replace the requirement to carry out a risk assessment.

The table is for guidance only and each workplace needs to evaluate its own level of risk.

SELECTING YOUR BSI FIRST AID

LOW RISK ENVIRONMENT

eg. shops, offices, libraries.

NO. OF EMPLOYEES PER SIGNIFICANT AREA*

Less than 25

25 - 50

More than 50 employees

RECOMMENDED REQUIREMENTS

At least one SMALL kit

At least one MEDIUM Kit

At least one LARGE kit per 100 employees

HIGH RISK ENVIRONMENT

eg. light engineering and assembly work, food processing, warehousing, extensive work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, construction, chemical manufacture

NO. OF EMPLOYEES PER SIGNIFICANT AREA*

Less than 5

5 - 25

More than 25 employees

RECOMMENDED REQUIREMENTS

At least one SMALL kit

At least one MEDIUM Kit

At least one LARGE kit per 25 employees

* A significant area is an individual floor or building but we strongly recommend that a kit and a first aider can reach a casualty within 60 seconds of an initial call for assistance.  For example, if you have an office and a warehouse on the same site this will be a minimum of two significant areas.

SIGNIFICANT AREA 1:  Office = Low-Risk Environment

SIGNIFICANT AREA 2:  Warehouse = High-Risk Environment

Each significant area needs to be assessed on its own merits.

SOME OF OUR MOST POPULAR BSI FIRST AID KITS:

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