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First Aid

Bring your workplace first aid right up to date with the right
know-how, kit and skills from Arco

Download PDF - Last Updated June 2020

At Arco, as part of our commitment to health, safety and environmental performance, we have a wealth of information designed to help you understand your first aid requirements in the workplace. This includes your responsibilities as an employer, the latest first aid statistics and a range of expert advice to help you keep your employees safe.

We're here to help to ensure you have the right first aid kit, training and procedures to treat your employees at work.

Workplace Statistics Regulations and Standards First Aid Arrangements How to Choose First Aid Kits

Workplace Statistics

With over 70,000 non-fatal injuries to employees in Great Britain every year, it is important for employers to be prepared for accidents.

When safety procedures are not followed and accidents occur, this can have a serious effect on individuals, their families, employers, government and the wider society. The financial impact to your business can be staggering.

If someone was injured or taken ill at your workplace, would you have the right first aid supplies, facilities and training to provide the immediate attention they need?

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Regulations and Standards

Employers have a legal duty to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they suffer an injury or illness at work. Accidents and illness can happen at any time.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 applies to every workplace, including those with fewer than five employees and the self-employed, and sets out what you need to do to address first aid provision in the workplace.

The British Standard BS8599-1 supports the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. It specifies the contents that must be included in Workplace First Aid Kits, provides guidance on the appropriate size of kit required based on the number of employees and the level of risk present, and gives the requirements for the container holding the contents.

In January 2019, key changes within BS8599-1 came into effect to ensure standards are kept up to date with advancements in first aid products and provision technology and to reflect current workplace practices and risks.

The HSE will prosecute in cases where there is a significant risk, a disregard for established standards or persistent poor compliance with the law.

Find out about the legislation and standards that employers need to know to save lives and prevent minor injuries becoming major ones.

First Aid Arrangements

As a minimum, low-risk workplace such as a small office, you must have a first aid needs assessment, an appointed person, first aid kit and employee information.

For workplaces where there's more significant health and safety risks, you're likely to need a trained first aider. If you are self-employed then you must make sure that you have adequate first aid provision.

Your first aid needs assessment will help you decide the representatives you need, taking into consideration all relevant circumstances in your workplace. If you first aid needs assessment identifies that a first aider is required, it will help you to identify how many you need.

You need to ensure that first aiders have undertaken suitable training, have an appropriate first aid qualification and remain competent to perform their role.

Learn more about the key considerations you need to review when implementing your workplace first aid arrangements and our programme of training courses suitable for all types of businesses regardless of size and number of employees.

How to Choose First Aid Kits

You may believe that your first aid kit provides everything you need. However, as different work sites pose risks for different types of injuries, your first aid kit may not provide the level of required treatment.

The quantities and sizes of first aid kits to be used in a workplace environment should be determined by the number of people on site and the category of hazard they are exposed to.

  1. Do a risk assessment.
  2. Decide on the size and quantity of kits required to meet your risk assessment needs.
  3. The HSE compliant first aid kit is the minimum level workplace standard required to comply with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation 1981. The British Standard compliant first aid kit was introduced to provide more comprehensive contents offering greater levels of protection and helping to respond to a wider range of risks in the workplace.
  4. If you have lone workers or those who work away from the workplace, such as security, cleaners, maintenance, a Personal Issue Kit enables basic first aid to be produced quickly and easily.
  5. If you have employees who are at risk of a serious life-threatening bleed or in the event of a mass-casualty attack, a Critical Injury Pack is required as standard first aid kits are not appropriately equipped. Your employees also need to have appropriate training, so they know how to use it.

What Size of Kit Do I Need?

The table featured below provides guidance for employers but does not replace the requirement for a risk assessment to be carried out.

From your risk assessment, what degree of hazard is associated with your work activities? How many employees do you have? Quantity and size of kits required.
Low Risk
e.g. shops, office, libraries, etc.
Fewer than 25
25 - 100
More than 100
1 Small Kit
1 Medium Kit
1 Large Kit per 100 employees
High Risk
e.g. light engineering and assembly work, food processing, warehousing, etc.
Fewer than 5
5 - 25
More than 25
1 Small Kit
1 Medium Kit
1 Large Kit per 25 employees

Some items can expire - check your first aid kits regularly. If items have passed their expiry date, then they may be ineffective and unsafe and should be disposed of as soon as possible.

Find out more about the size and quantities of first aid kits you need. When it comes to first aid supplies from kits to defibrillators to eye wash stations and first aid furniture, we have everything you need.

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