First Aid at work

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Under health and safety law, an employer has a responsibility to ensure that first aid provision in the workplace is sufficient. This includes:

  1. Carrying out a first aid needs assessment to decide where, how many, and what type of first aiders are required
  2. Providing training and re-qualifying training for their first aiders
  3. Providing sufficient first aid kits and equipment for the workplace
  4. Ensuring that all staff are aware of how and where to get first aid treatment

First Aid Kits should be easily accessible, preferably placed near to hand washing facilities and identified by a white cross on a green background. The container should protect the contents from dust and damp.

Larger sites are likely to need more than one first aid kit and should consider if any additional equipment or a dedicated first aid room is required. Where mains tap water is not available for eye washing, at least one litre of sterile water or ‘saline’ should be provided.

The contents of a first aid kit can vary. To determine the number of first aid kits and their contents, your business will initially require a first aid ‘needs assessment’. To help determine your level of workplace risk, and what size First Aid kit you might need, please see the table below.

This is a rough guide – you should seek a First Aid ‘needs assessment’ for more specific advice.   

BS-8599 workplace kits – Recommended size of kit: Small Medium Large Travel
Lower Risk: e.g. Offices, shops & libraries etc. Less than 25 employees 25-100 employees More than 100 employees Per vehicle
Higher Risk: e.g. Food processing, assembly work, warehousing, engineering, construction, manufacturing etc. Less than 5 employees 5-25 employees More than 25 employees Per vehicle

 These regulations state that it is the responsibility of the Employer or person in control of the premises to report the following occurrences directly to the Health and Safety Executive:

  1. Deaths (report immediately)
  2. Major injuries (report immediately)
  3. Dangerous occurrences (report immediately)
  4. Incidents resulting in a person being off work (or unable to do full duties) for more than 7 days (report within 15 days)
  5. Diseases (report as soon as possible)
  6. For more information visit RIDDOR.


Accident recording – 

Any accident at work, no matter how small, must be recorded in an accident book. The accident book may be filled by another person on behalf of the casualty (or by the casualty themselves).

The information recorded can help the employer identify accident trends and possible areas of improvement in the control of health and safety risks. It can be used for future first aid ‘needs assessments’ and may be helpful for insurance investigative purposes.

  1. The name, address and occupation of the person who had the accident
  2. The name, address and occupation and signature of the person who is completing the report
  3. The date, time and location of the accident
  4. A description of how the accident happened, giving the cause if you can
  5. Details of the injury suffered


Western Industrial Group
have recently undergone an ‘Emergency First Aid‘ training course. This was provided by Tony Hayde from Training for the Future, the course was six hours long and in that time the Western Industrial Group learnt invaluable life saving skills! They were taught what to do in situations where you might need resuscitation, the recovery position, choking, and much more. They were also taught accident prevention, what kind of First Aid Kit you’d need for your workplace, and what to do after an accident happens.

If your First Aid kit needs updating, have a look at Western Industrial Products and their offers on First Aid kits and equipment! 

Article compiled by: Laura Pay-Savage

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