Workplace first aid kits new British Standard


19 August 2011

A new British Standard Workplace first aid kits. Specification for the contents of workplace first aid kits BS 8599-1:2011 recommends the correct number of plasters and so on for small, medium, large, or travel-size kits and recommends how many kits are needed depending on the size of the organisation.

Until now, there have been few guidelines on what a first aid kit should contain. And what guidelines do exist are out of date. So, in an emergency, businesses can find their kits lack the essentials, or include outdated and inadequate components. And some kits currently in use are full of waste components that first aiders can't use.

BS 8599-1 sets the minimum level that first aid kits should conform to. It is written so that manufacturers of kits and anyone that assembles workplace first aid kits is producing them to the specific minimum requirements.

Requirements are given for the container holding the component, and marking and information to be supplied by manufacturers.

The Standard also gives recommendations on the amount and size of the first aid kits necessary for different workplace environments based on the category of risk and the number of employees at the workplace.

BS 8599-1 is intended for use by:

  • buyers of first aid kits
  • manufacturers of first aid kits
  • anyone compiling the contents of a first aid kit
  • procurers of kits for employers.

You can order PDFs of BS Standards by calling 0800 782 632 during business hours or emailing

Summarised from the BSI Healthcare and Medical Devices Newsletter July 2011.

Related Touchstone article

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