First aid


Your legal responsibility

You must have the equipment, facilities and people to provide first aid to employees.

Every workplace should have at least:

  • A suitably stocked first-aid box; and
  • A chosen person to take charge of first aid arrangements.

You will need to make an assessment to establish what provision for first aid is required. This will depend on the workplace environment, the number of employees, size, location and work activity. See the HSE guidance, which is also applicable to Northern Ireland.

What law applies?

  • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
  • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1982

First aid items

There is no standard list of items to put in a first aid box. It depends on the needs your workplace. However, where there is no special risk in your workplace, a minimum stock of first aid items could include:

  • A leaflet giving general guidance on first aid
  • 20 individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings (assorted sizes)
  • 2 sterile eye pads
  • 2 individually wrapped triangular bandages (preferably sterile)
  • 6 safety pins
  • 6 medium-sized (approximately 12 cm x 12 cm) individually wrapped sterile unmedicated wound dressings
  • 2 large (approximately 18 cm x 18 cm) sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings
  • 3 pair of disposable gloves

You shouldn't keep tablets or medicines in the first aid box.