From 30th June 2011, BS-8599 replaces the BHTA-HSE standard for first aid kits in the workplace with a transitional introduction period until 31st December 2011.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) regulations 1981 states:
"An employer shall provide or ensure that there are provided such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first aid to be rendered to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work"
The Health and Safety Executive have been closely involved in the creation of this standard being members of the BSi standards committee. The BHTA guidelines were in need of revision because training protocols have changed, there are heightened concerns with infection control and new technology is now available at affordable prices.
In the old kits there were only 1 pair of gloves in a 10 person kit yet 33 dressings and 4 triangular bandages even though protocols no longer indicated their use for immobilisation of lower limb fractures.
- Gloves: more in each kit reflecting the need and Nitrile type in line with NHS and St. John Ambulance guidelines.
- Plasters: sensible quantities reflecting demand.
- Wipes: increased quantities, new specification is sterile and now must meet European CE marking rules.
- Medium and Large Dressings: fewer quantities.
- Triangular Bandages: reduced quantities reflecting change in training first aid protocol.
- Finger Dressings: smaller dressing introduced for injuries too large for first aid plasters, dressing complete with easy-fix adhesive tab.
- Burns Gel Dressing: every employer with as much as a kettle must have a risk from burns. Modern burns gel dressing is added to meet this risk together with a conforming bandage to attach and retain it.
- Adhesive Tape: easy and inexpensive way to secure dressings and bandages, alternative to safety pins which are also included in kits.
- Shears: clothing around wound sites needs to be removed to allow first aid treatment.
- Foil Emergency Blanket: clinical shock presents one of the most serious life threatening risks to a casualty, treatment includes keeping the casualty warm.
- Mouth To Mouth Resuscitation Device: incorporating a one way valve protects the first aider from infection from bodily fluids.
- Eye Wash: incorporated into travel kits since fixed eye stations unlikely to be available.
- First Aid Guidance Leaflet