First Aid Kit Content
Believe it or not, there is no mandatory list of contents for first aid kits and the HSE only provide guidance – they do not ‘approve’ or ‘endorse’ specific types of kit or individual products. What is more important is that all employers complete a First Aid Risk Assessment to determine the appropriate level of equipment and facilities required.
British Standard first aid kits are based on the HSE recommendations, but with enhanced contents that have been adapted to take into account more modern and functional products. These include face shields, clothing cutters, finger dressings and nitrile gloves (not latex).
These newer specifications allow for more plasters and wipes (as we tend to use more of these) and less triangular bandages as training protocols are using these less and less.
There are fewer medium and large dressings and the option for smaller dressings, particularly those to be used on a finger wound that needs more than a plaster.
Introduction of a face shield to be used during mouth to mouth/CPR – this protects the first aider from body fluid pathogens.
The HSE 10, 20 and 50 person kits are good as a starter point – then acquire additional items that have been identified in your First Aid Risk Assessment.
What about expiry dates?
According to the HSE, those items marked with an expiry date, particularly sterile ones, should be replaced by the dates given.
For most other items that are not sterile, it is really a matter of judgement – are they fit for purpose? If not, dispose of safely and replace with new.
For more information, please go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/faqs.htm