What First Aid do I need in the workplace?

What First Aid do I need in the workplace?

clock-circular-outline Posted 13 Sep 2022


If you’re moving location or kitting out a new site from scratch, you might be wondering what first aid supplies you need to keep your team safe. Clive Grinnell talks us through the basics…


Whether you’re starting from scratch with a brand new warehouse or logistics hub, or auditing your existing supply, it’s important to ensure you’ve got the right first aid kit on site so you’re covered in the event of someone having an accident or sustaining an injury at work.


What first aid do I need in the workplace?

There’s no universal rule governing what first aid supplies must be held on site by businesses. Instead, the amount and type of first aid required for individual locations depends on a range of factors, including the number of employees they have, and the range and type of hazards in that workplace.

Basically, the higher the risk of injury or ill health in your workplace, the more first aiders and first aid supplies you should have on site.


Who is responsible for first aid equipment in the workplace?

Under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, employers are legally required to take responsibility for ensuring adequate and appropriate first aid equipment and facilities to care for their employees and visitors if they are injured or become ill at work.


This means they should:


  • Comprehensively assess the first aid needs of their workplace,
  • Provide the required number of first aid kits and appointed first aiders, and
  • Ensure first aider levels and first aid supplies are maintained at all times.


Assessing workplace first aid needs

When determining their workplace first aid requirements, employers will want to consider:


  • The number and age of their employees working on site,
  • The risk of injury or ill health in the workplace,
  • Specific risks in the workplace, such as working with hazardous substances,
  • Varying levels of risk in different areas,
  • Previous history of accidents and ill health,
  • The number of buildings or floors on their premises,
  • If they have any inexperienced workers, disabled employees, or members of staff with specific health problems that may be at additional risk, or any minors such as work experience trainees on site,
  • The distance between the workplace and the nearest hospital with an A&E department,
  • The manner in which their employees work, including any shift work, out-of-hours work, employees working from home or travelling as part of their job, and employees working on sites belonging to other employers,
  • Whether the site is open to the public, and how many visitors may be expected on any given day.


First aiders

Wherever possible, employers should ensure that – during the hours in which there are people working on site – there is always someone on hand that is able to undertake first aid duties, should they be required.

There is no hard-and-fast rule governing the number of first aiders that businesses should have, and individual risk factors will apply. The table below gives a general guide to the minimum you should aim for:


  No. of employees Suggested number of first aiders

Lower risk (e.g. offices, shops, libraries)

Up to 50

50 - 100


At least one appointed person

At least one

One additional for every 100 employees

Medium risk (e.g. warehousing, assembly work, food processing, light engineering)

Up to 20

20 - 100


At least one appointed person

At least one for every 50 employees

One additional for every 50 employees

High risk (e.g. dangerous machinery, sharp instruments, construction, chemical manufacture)

Up to 5

5 - 50


At least one appointed person

At least one for every 50 employees

One additional first aider for every 50 employees



First aid kit

There is also no set rule on the number of first aid kits businesses should have, or on what these first aid kits should contain, although the table below offers a general guide to the minimum you should aim for:




No. of employees

First aid kit

Low hazard

1 – 24


25 – 100



1 x large per 100 employees

High hazard

1 – 4


5 – 25



 1 x large per 25 employees


All first aid kits should comply with British Standard BS 8599-1:2019, and enough should be provided that one is readily available when required. If businesses occupy several buildings, a first aid kit should be close to hand in every building, in case of an accident or emergency.


First aid kit contents

The contents of a first aid kit are not standard, and the recommended requirements of any first aid kit list will differ depending on the specifics of the workplace and the hazards therein.


At iSB Group, we can help you to assess your workplace first aid needs, whether it is an existing site or a new location that you are looking to fit out. For more information, or to book a first aid audit with our team, give us a call or contact us here.

By Clive Grinnell

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