First Aid in the Workplace – What you need to know in 2019!

first aid box for workplaces

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? New BS8599-1 standards for 2019 outline what employers should be including in their first aid kits for use in emergency situations and to treat workplace injuries. Remember, these regulations apply to all work places, no matter how small or large they are – it even applies to the self-employed!

It’s essential to have the following three aspects covered to comply with Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations:

  1. Have trained first aiders in the workplace who have completed the appropriate training course and renew their training when appropriate
  2. Information regarding first aid arrangements for employees
  3. Fully stocked first aid kits

Here is our simple guide to help you select the right first aid kit and make sure you have all bases covered in emergency situations.

Do a risk assessment

Deciding on what first aid kit is needed depends on the size of the workplace and the industry. It can be broken down into two types: low-risk and high-risk. The appointed person will need to assess the environment, any risks posed to employees, and review the risks on a regular basis.

Low-risk workplaces carry a lower risk of injury, where people are not required to use heavy machinery, sharp objects or lift heavy items. Low risk workplaces include places like shops, offices and libraries.

High risk workplaces have a greater risk of illness or injury due to the surroundings or workload. Heavy industry, engineering, assembly work, food processing and warehouses are all considered to be high-risk workplaces.

The legislation is different for offshore work as this requires industry specific considerations due to the remoteness and difficulties associated with access to medical and health care expertise. Dedicated facilities are required to offer suitable care for up to 48 hours in the event of injury or illness, as well as ensuring a wider range of medical supplies are available. This can be planned with the help of an onshore medical practitioner.

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 BS8599-1 updated table below makes it simple:


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:

Our catering specific 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.

The new BS8599-1:2019 Standard also includes two additional kit recommendations, 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.

Is your workplace compliant with the new BS8599-1:2019 Standards? 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

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