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JustFirstAidKits supply first aid kits at the lowest online prices. Many of our customers purchase from us in order to conform to first aid guidelines set by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE). We aim to make complying with the latest Standards for workplace first aid as easy as possible, and have provided the following guide to assist you in your choice of first aid kit purchase.

Complying with the latest British Standards for Workplace First Aid (BS-8599-1)

In June 2011, some important changes were made to the recommended level of provision for employees to stock. A new British Standard, BS-8599-1 was put into place following a review of the old guidelines which were agreed to have become out of date based on typical hazards in a modern workplace. For example, every modern workplace has a kettle that would be identified in a formal risk assessment, but previous kits based on HSE minimum requrements did not contain any burn dressings or treatments. BS-8599-1 was put in place to address this and many more shortfalls, and specifes a renewed list of contents which are a simple and convenient way for employers to cover typical hazards in most modern day workplace.

We therefore recommend that all employers and business purchase a BS-8599-1 Compliant First Aid Kit to ensure compliance with the latest British Standards for workplace first aid. You may wish to consider supplementing your kit with additional items in order to ensure you have provisions to cover all hazards identified during a formal risk assessment.

Why Has This Been Implemented?

The new list of recommended contents forms part of a modern approach to what is deemed to be a sensible range of products in the workplace of today. Factors such as new technologies in product development, different types of injury & risk, changes to training protocols as well as an increased awareness of infection control have resulted in the current kits no longer being ideal.

Implementing this standard will bring workplace first aid kits in line with other safety products such as hard hats and fire extinguishers.

The current kits were introduced in 1997 and were based on legislation from 1981 the workplace has evolved, ensure your first aid supplies follow suit!

How Does It Affect Me?

Employers are still ultimately responsible for carrying out a formal assessment of the first aid provision required in the workplace, and that suitable items are available to treat injuries that may arise from any hazards on site. BS-8599-1 specifically relates to adequate contents and provides guidance on the size of kit required. HSE Law still applies in terms of protocol:

  • An employer shall provide or ensure that there are provided such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first aid to be rendered to their employees if they are injured or become ill at work
  • The contents of first-aid containers should be examined frequently and should be restocked as soon as possible after use. Sufficient stocks should be held in a back-up stock on site

The amount of first aid provision an employer should stock is dependant upon the individual characteristics of their workplace. The level of provision should be in proportion to the amount of facilities, equipment and personnel for which it is intended to cover.

In assessing their needs, employers should consider:

  • the size of the organisation
  • the nature of the workforce
  • the organisations history of accidents
  • the needs of travelling, remote and lone workers
  • work patterns
  • the distribution of the workforce
  • any first-aid provision intended for non-employees
  • employees working on shared or multi-occupied sites
  • the nature of the work and workplace hazards and risks
  • the remoteness of the site from emergency medical services
  • annual leave and other absences of first-aiders and appointed persons

What If I Don't Comply?

Once a British Standard exists, if an employer chooses not to follow it, and subsequently an employee has an accident, then their legal defence would be very weak in any negligence claim.

For example; a formal risk assessment of any modern workplace would identify the risk of scalding from a boiling kettle, yet current kits do not contain burns dressing which are proven to reduce pain, scarring and infection complications an employer is now liable for if they have failed to provide adequate first aid supplies for treatment.

What Are The Specific Changes?

  • A change to Nitrile Gloves and an increase in the number of pairs previous kits had 1 pair of gloves but 29 dressings
  • A reduction of Triangular Bandages these are no longer recommended for immobilisation of limbs in first aid training protocols
  • The Introduction of finger dressings previously the smallest dressing was 12x12cm which was impractical for finger injuries where plasters were not sufficient
  • Adhesive tape is now recommended to secure dressings and bandages without the need for safety pins, which many first aiders prefer not to use
  • Burn dressings are specified for inclusion to cover injuries caused by modern workplace hazards, such as kettles. A conforming bandage should also be included to effectively attach and retain the dressing
  • First Aid Shears - capable of cutting leather and fabric have been added in accordance with modern First Aid training protocol. Clothing around wound sites needs to be removed to allow first aid treatment
  • The introduction of a resuscitation device to provide protection from infection for first aiders performing Mouth to mouth resuscitation
  • Protection against the effects of clinical shock is enabled by the inclusion of an emergency foil blanket
  • The addition of a sterile eyewash for travel kits to provide eye irrigation when it may not be readily available.
  • The replacement of Alcohol Free Wipes with Sterile Saline Cleansing Wipes ensure safer treatment of injuries

What Size Of Kit Do I Require?

BS-8599-1 Compliant Workplace First Aid Kits are available in four sizes; Small, Medium, Large and Travel. The old 'HSE' system determined the correct choice of first aid kit based on the number of employees it was intended to cover. This approach however, gave no consideration to the level of risk present in a workplace. BS8599 kits should be selected using the table on the product pages as a guide.

Choosing The Right Type Of Case

Our first aid kits are available in a number of different case options to suit the characteristics of various environments. All of our cases are wall mountable.

Standard First Aid Case are manufactured from rugged green polypropylene. Available in two sizes, they stand up to everyday wear & tear and provide adequate protection for first aid provisions in lower risk environments.

Deluxe First Aid Cases are manufactured from shatterproof ABS plastic and feature a neoprene seal to keep dust and moisture away from first aid provisions. Movable content dividers and Perspex covers keep contents organised and secure. Available in three sizes and supplied with a quick release wall bracket for ease of access in an emergency. Deluxe cases are ideal for use in heavier duty environments.

Aluminium First Aid Cases provide the highest degree of protection for first aid provisions. Lockable lids and reinforced edges ensure supplies are kept safe and secure. Internal dividers allow contents to be organised and easily replenished. Exceptionally durable, aluminium first aid cases are designed to stand up to the heaviest duty use in higher risk environments.

We also supply a number of Zip Up Bags which are ideal for creating your own first aid kit or for applications when enhanced portability is desirable, such as in vehicles or when working offsite. All of our first aid cases and pouches are clearly marked with a first aid cross and First Aid written on the box in accordance with HSE recommendations.

Please see our case comparison guide below:

Case Type
Hinge Type
Wall Mountable
Internal Dividers
Reinforced Corners & Edges
Shoulder Strap
Metal Pinned
ABS Plastic
ABS Plastic
Aluminium Reinforced Plastic
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