As an employer, you must have an adequate first aid kit and have employees who are fully trained in first aid. This applies to all sizes of business and must be done not only to comply with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, but also for the welfare of staff should one on them fall ill or become injured.
Deciding what will be in your first aid kit, and how many first aid kits you need, will depend on your business. A first aid kit for five office workers will differ to hundreds working in a warehouse as the risks, hazards and potential injuries will vary greatly. The law only states that the first aid kit must be ‘adequate and appropriate’ for your business. There are however basic items that every first aid kit should have, which includes:
A variety of sizes of individually wrapped plasters
- A variety of bandages/wound dressings
- Safety pins
- Sterile eye dressings
- Medical tape
- Disposable gloves
- Cleansing wipes
- Scissors and tweezers
Some first aid kits can also include medications such as painkillers or antihistamine tablets, but some employers may wish to keep these separate. Other items that can also be included are gauze dressings, eye wash and eye bath, creams such as antiseptic or to treat a rash, and a thermometer. You may also feel it necessary to supply foil blankets.
All of this should also be covered in a first aid advice leaflet or manual inside the box. First aid kits need to be checked regularly to ensure they are fully stocked.
Providing a fully stocked first aid kit is only the first step of abiding by the regulations, the second is that businesses have a designated member or members of staff who are first aid trained or responsible for administering first aid.
Further information on first aid kits can be found on the NHS website or the Health and Safety Executive website. Alternatively, to find out more details about Aspire Training Team’s first aid courses, call 01202 551553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.