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What to put in a first aid kit

The contents of your first aid kit should be based on your first aid needs assessment. As a guide, where work activities are low-risk (for example, desk-based work) a minimum first aid kit might contain:

  • a leaflet with general guidance on first aid (for example, HSE's leaflet Basic advice on first aid at work
  • individually wrapped sterile plasters of assorted sizes
  • sterile eye pads
  • individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile
  • safety pins
  • large and medium-sized sterile, individually wrapped, unmedicated wound dressings
  • disposable gloves

This is a suggested contents list.

If you are buying a kit look for British Standard (BS) 8599. By law, your kit doesn’t have to meet this standard but you should check it contains what you’ve identified in your needs assessment.

Maintaining or replacing contents of a first aid kit

Check your kit regularly. Many items, particularly sterile ones, are marked with expiry dates. Replace expired items, disposing of them safely. If a sterile item doesn’t have an expiry date, check with the manufacturer to find out how long it can be kept. For non-sterile items without dates, you should check that they are still fit for purpose.