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Case 261 - Can you stock plasters in a first aid box?

Issue

An employee had cut her finger in the workplace and a colleague tried to obtain a plaster from the first aid kit but there were none. The employee asked a manager if they could restock them but she replied that due to health and safety reasons i.e. allergies, plasters were no longer supplied for the first aid kit. The employee has since heard of other cases in workplaces that will not stock plasters in their first aid kits for similar reasons. Could you please confirm if this is just another myth.

Panel decision

There is no health and safety regulation which bans the provision of plasters, in fact HSE’s own guidance recommends that a first aid box should stock plasters. If the concern is about the small risk of allergic reaction to some types of plaster then this can be easily managed by stocking the hypoallergenic variety or simply asking the person being treated if they are allergic to plasters before they are applied.

2014-03-17