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The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 state that all employers should carry out an assessment of their first aid requirements. Although there is no requirement for this assessment to be formal, it may be useful for results to be recorded as employers may have to provide justification as to their level of first aid provision.
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:
BS-8599-1 is an all new British Standard to specify the contents of First Aid Kits in the workplace. On 30th June 2011 it came into effect - following this date, BS-8599-1 workplace first aid kits are a clear and safe way for an employer to fulfil their first aid obligations.
The HSE were on the committee that proposed and implemented this standard.
The BS-8599-1 list of required contents forms part of a modern approach to what is considered to be a suitable range of products in the workplace of today. Factors such as new technologies in product development, different types of injury & risk, alterations to training protocols as well as an increased awareness of infection control have resulted in the current kits no longer being suitable.
This standard will bring workplace first aid kits in line with other safety products such as hard hats and fire extinguishers.
Our previous 'HSE' compliant kits were introduced in 1997 and were based on legislation from 1981 – the workplace has evolved, ensure your first aid supplies follow suit!
Ultimately, employers are still responsible for carrying out a formal assessment of the first aid provision that are required in the workplace, and ensure 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 supplies guidance on the size of kit needed. In terms of protocol, HSE Law still applies:
Once a British Standard exists, if an employer chooses not to follow it, and then an employee has an accident, then the employer's 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 will now be liable for if they have failed to provide sufficient first aid supplies for treatment.
There are four sizes of BS-8599-1 first aid kit available; Small, Medium, Large and Travel. The old 'HSE' system specified the correct choice of first aid kit based on the number of employees it needed to cover. This approach, however, did not take into consideration the level of risk present in a workplace. Use the table below as a guide to choosing your size of BS-8599-1 compliant first aid kit. The table below can be used as a guide to find the right sized of first aid kit for you:
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 Cases 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:
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 state “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”.
You can ensure good first aid practice with the following helpful tips:
Many work places contain hazards which can potentially cause damage or contamination to the eyes. Eye injuries are often serious. In the event of such an emergency having an easy to access supply of eyewash can make a huge difference to the level of damage sustained.
The Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 state that “where mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, at least a litre of sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9%) in sealed, disposable containers should be provided.”
Our Standard 500ml Eyewash Bottles are available in packs of two bottles, providing a simple and effective means of meeting the statutory requirement for eyewash supplies in your workplace. Available from as low as £2.50, these are our best selling eyewash bottles and represent incredible value for money.
Our PLUM Eyewash Bottles feature an integrated eyebath to ensure measured administration of eyewash; a single 500ml bottle can deliver up to five minutes of wash time for thorough irrigation. Eyebaths are also available separately and are perfect for keeping eyewash directed to the injury site. Eyebaths should only be used for minor eye injuries where continuous irrigation is not necessary.
We also supply 20ml Eyewash Pods which are ideal for treating contaminated eyes with minimal wastage. Their compact size also makes them ideal for adding as supplementary items to first aid kits to provide an added degree of protection in higher risk environments. The 0.9% sterile saline solution can also be used to irrigate and decontaminate minor wounds prior to treatment or dressing.
Our extensive range of Eyewash Stations & Dispensers allow eyewash supplies to be clearly visible and easy to access in the event of an emergency. Some feature integrated mirrors for ease of administration.
Advice on Administering Eyewash *
* The above information is intended for guidance only and should not be used as a substitute for recognised first aid courses.
It is a legal requirement for employers to inform employees of their legal rights and obligations under Health & Safety Law. Health & Safety Law Posters should be displayed in a visible place in your workplace so employees can read them.
The UK HSE recently updated the Health & Safety Law Poster to be clearer and more engaging for employees to read. Subsequently increasing the likelihood of workers being well informed of their legal rights and obligations.
It is a legal requirement to upgrade to the new revised edition as the old posters are being phased out by the HSE
The Revised Health & Safety Law Posters are available in two thicknesses to suit varying workplace conditions. If there is a risk of posters becoming soiled or damaged in your workplace then the thicker rigid version may be a more suitable choice. Both thicknesses of poster are encapsulated in a durable biodegradable plastic coating to prevent tearing.
We supply a wide range of plasters in varying sizes & materials in order to suit specific applications or injuries. Plasters are essential first aid items that are likely to be used frequently, so always be sure to check and replenish your provisions on a regular basis. Our extensive range is available from as low as £2.50 per box of 100 plasters.
Choosing the correct size of plaster is important as it affects how comfortable they are to wear and the coverage they offer the wound.
The size of plaster used should be relative to the size of the injury, ensuring the pad covers any area which may produce exudates. This ensures that moisture is absorbed and the wound is cushioned by the soft pad, offering some degree of protection from bumps and knocks. As a guideline, typical sizes of plaster may include the following (not to scale):
Most of our plasters are available in the above sizes and also in boxes of assorted sizes which are ideal for adding to first aid provisions. We also supply a wide range of Wound Closure Strips which are better suited for closing and stemming blood flow from slightly deeper wounds.
Our plasters are available in a number of material types in order to be able to protect wounds in different environments:
Washproof plasters are made from a water resistant material so wounds are kept clean and dry in the event of surrounding areas being exposed to liquids. Our best selling Standard Washproof Plasters are available from as low as £2.50 for a box of 100 plasters!
Fabric plasters are not water resistant, but are hardwearing and ideal for heavier duty applications. Fabric plasters are flexible and conform well to awkward areas. Our fantastic range of fabric plasters is available from as low as £2.50 for a box of 100 plasters!
Blue Plasters are visually detectable and designed for use in catering environments. They are constructed from a water resistant backing material and all of our blue plasters feature a thin metal strip to ensure metal detectability in the event of them being lost in food preparation environments. Our Assorted Blue Detectable Plasters are available from as low as £2.70 per box of 100 plasters.
Clear Washproof Plasters are made from a high quality water resistant backing material and are suitable for use on all skin tones. We also supply specifically designed Plasters For Children, to help raise a smile and offer comfort during treatment.
Some individuals who are sensitive to Latex proteins find they are allergic to the adhesive which fixes the plaster to the skin. The majority of our plasters feature latex free adhesives to avoid this problem. Some of our plasters utilise a ‘hypoallergenic’ adhesive – meaning they have been engineered to yield a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction. A large number of latex sensitive users find that they can use hypoallergenic plasters without causing an adverse reaction. Our website states the nature of the adhesive featured on all of our plasters, but if you are still unsure or have any concerns, please call our friendly sales team and we will be happy to advise.
Our standard ranges provide adequate protection from wounds and are ideal for adding to first aid supplies or using as back up stocks. Customers who use plasters on a more frequent basis may find it beneficial to upgrade to our superior or premium varieties. These ranges feature higher quality adhesives and materials. This can prove more economical if subjected to frequent or prolonged usage as their added durability results in fewer plaster changes required. View our superior and premium plaster varieties within each First Aid Plasters group. All of our plasters are packaged individually sterile wrapped.
Dressings form an essential part of HSE compliant First Aid provisions. There are different types and sizes of dressings, suitable for treating different kinds of wounds.
The HSE recommend that First Aid Kits should contain:
Our Standard Sterile Dressings conform to HSE guidelines and are available from as low as 25p per dressing! We also supply a number of branded and premium alternatives at the lowest online prices.
Standard Dressings are suitable for absorbing exudates from wounds and providing protection from possible infection. Bandages are attached to the dressings and should be tied to secure the dressing pad to the wound. All of our standard dressings are sterile wrapped and ideal for adding to first aid supplies.
Low Adherent Dressings are specially coated to ensure they offer effective absorption but do not stick to wounds. Because they do not contain any adhesive properties, it is necessary to secure low adherent dressings with microporous tape.
Adhesive Wound Dressings feature a dressing pad to cover the wound with an adhesive around the outside of the dressing to help it stick to the skin surrounding the wound. These dressings are ideal for dressing injuries on contoured or jointed areas of the body where a plaster may not provide sufficient protection.
Eye Dressings feature an absorbent pad and a conforming bandage to keep the pad in place over the eye. Eye dressings form part of the HSE recommended contents for a standard first aid kit.
Burn Dressings are often medicated with tea tree oil to halt burn progression and provide treatment for burns. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and prevents infection of burn sites. Burn dressings are ideal for adding as supplementary items to first aid kits, especially in higher risk environments when there is a greater risk of burn injury.
Spray On Dressings create a waterproof layer that acts like a second skin. The resulting dressing is resistant to bacteria but fully vapour permeable, allowing wounds to breath. Spray on dressings are available in convenient and easy to administer canisters and are most effective when applied to surface wounds such grazes.
Gauze Swabs can be used as dressings when secured with microporous tape and their high levels of absorbency allow them to be used to cleanse wounds prior to dressing.
FirstAid4Less also supply a wide range of wipes ideal for cleansing wounds prior to dressing. Our best selling Alcohol Free Cleansing Wipes are available from as low as £3.59 per box of 100 wipes.
Bandages can be used for a number of first aid applications, providing light support and compression to aid in the rehabilitation of injuries. FirstAid4Less offer a wide range of standard and premium branded alternatives to suit every budget.
Cohesive Bandages feature a special adhesive that means the bandage will stick to itself but not to the skin. Cohesive bandages often feature a stretchy bandage which is ideal for providing light support and compression to injuries. The special adhesive allows easy, pain free removal and means the bandage does not require clips or pins to be held in place. Our Standard Cohesive Bandages are available in a range of colours from prices as low as £1.45 per bandage!
Conforming Bandages are a very economical solution to a range of bandaging applications. Exceptional stretch and conforming properties allow the bandage to be wrapped tightly, thus making them ideal for dressing retention or providing light support.
Triangular Bandages are essential refill items for first aid provisions and are ideal for a range of first aid applications. Triangular bandages can be used as a sling, head cover, wound pressure pad or for more general bandaging applications. Our bandages are available in non-woven and calico varieties. Non-woven bandages are light weight and economical, calico bandages can be washed and re-used. Triangular bandages need to be secured with Safety Pins. The HSE recommend that at least 4 individually wrapped triangular bandages should be available as part of a standard first aid kit. Our best selling triangular bandages are available from as low as 53p per bandage!
Tubular Support Bandages provide exceptional support for injured limbs. Easy to apply, the tubular design allows bandages to apply uniform compression to an injury site. Tubular support bandages are ideal for treating injuries such as repetitive strain injuries and soft tissue injuries such as sprains. Because of their unique construction, it is recommended that tubular support bandages are applied with a Tubular Bandage Applicator.
Crêpe Bandages are extremely cost effective bandages and are ideal for providing light support to minor strains and sprains. A high stretch cotton construction provides exceptional user comfort. Crêpe Bandages need to be secured in place with clips.
Elastic Adhesive Bandages provide strong uniform compression and are ideal for treating jointed or contoured areas of the body. High stretch constructions and high specification adhesives ensure elastic adhesive bandages are kept in place even during rigorous activity.
White Open Weave Bandages are extremely economical and feature a loose weave construction to allow wounds to breathe. The additional ventilation is often very suited to dressing retention when treating burn injuries.