Update: British Standard for Workplace First Aid kits - BS 8599-1:2019

Published: 17 Apr 2019

The correct response to administering First Aid to an injured person is vital. It is therefore imperative that adequate First Aid provisions are in place.

As Health and Safety requirements within the industry have evolved, BSI (British Standards Institute) has undertaken a review of existing standards and a NEW British Standard specification has been launched; the aim being to update the contents of Workplace First Aid kits. The new standards (BS 8599-1:2019) came into effect on 10th January 2019.

The new Workplace First Aid Kits contain more disposable gloves, gel burns dressings, fewer medium sterile dressings, but more large sterile dressings, foil blankets, safety scissors and fewer triangular bandages.

The existing kits on the market will be phased out at the end of this year, so any kits you buy from next January will all conform to the new standard.

The standard is advisory only and not a legal requirement. Compliance with your current First Aid supplies will be met if your First Aid boxes/bags are kept fully stocked and contents is in date.

CSC’s current guidance for First Aid Kits are as follows:

  • A First Aid container must be available within each department.
  • There is an external check of first aid kits every 3 months.
  • The First Aid containers must have the following as a minimum:


Item Quantity
Guidance card 1
Individual sterile adhesive dressings (blue) 20
Sterile eye packs 6
Medium sized sterile un-medicated wound dressings 6
Eye irrigation sterile water (300ml min.) 3


Latex gloves and disposable aprons must be available for use by the first aider.  Some individuals are allergic to latex and therefore an alternative may need to be considered.

Whilst there is no mandatory list of items to put in a First Aid box, it depends on what you assess your needs to be. Any additional provisions to the First Aid kit would exceed the minimum requirements and should be sourced if required after carrying out a risk assessment.

For further guidance please contact CSC.