The Future of First Aid Training at Work

Many of us may already be aware that our pharmacies (*1) are often the first point of call for people, who have suffered a minor injury, usually at home, but sometimes at work. In fact, pharmacies are being identified as a contact point for the community in many matters of health, including first aid and, as we will see later in this Blog, a future resource for businesses.

Of course, in the UK, in respect of the work environments, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires that all workplaces:-

“……provide appropriate and adequate first aid equipment, facilities and people to ensure employees can be given immediate help if injured or taken ill at work….”


This means that a company with between 5 – 50 employees, should ensure that there is one fully-trained First Aider. If a company doesn’t need a First Aider, then it should at least assign one person to take charge of first aid. For example, the nominated employee would need to take responsibility for securing a suitably stocked first aid box. Additionally, this employee or First Aider would be required to inform all members of staff what the arrangements are for first aid. After all, many workplaces have visitors, so the random and unexpected nature of a first aid incident can occur, not only to the company’s employees, but also to any of their visitors – such is the character of an emergency. These are the reasons why the HSE insists that employees and visitors should be taken care of competently at work through proper first aid procedures in the event of an illness or an injury.


Furthermore, all companies and businesses need to be aware of the latest changes and updates within the first aid regulations.  Notably, in 2019, new updates occurred regarding the first aid kits under the British Standard specification (*2). This standard provides details of what should be contained within the various sizes of first aid kits at work.


These are the latest changes, as below:-

“Two principal changes have been made since the 2011 standard was published:

  • Personal issue kit and critical injury pack categories have been added to the list
  • The travel kit has been altered to match the medium vehicle kit covered in the revision of BS 8599-2:2014.

Reliance Medical (*3) concisely summarises what our first aid kits at work should now contain, as detailed below:-

“A reduction of the Medium dressings and increase of the Large Dressings changes to the Small, Medium and Large BS8599-1 compliant kits.

  • The removal of safety pins from the recommended contents and additional tapes included.
  • The new Travel and Motoring Kit has been completely overhauled to match the recommendations from the Medium BS8599-2 compliant Vehicle and Motoring First Aid Kit.
  • The BS8599-1:2019 guidelines have also been updated to include recommendations on two supplementary kits, a Personal Issue Kit and a Critical Injury Pack, as an extra resource to British Standard Compliant Small, Medium, Large and Travel & Motoring First Aid Kits.”

Since our pharmacists within community pharmacies are being used more and more by the public to answer questions relating to health, it is now the case that they are being asked to address first aid episodes, especially cuts, wounds, fainting attacks etc. As part of their working day, pharmacists are being trained in First Aid and Emergency First Aid in order to provide help, as and when they are required to do so. It is a fact that a large proportion of the general public have no knowledge of first aid. Usually those people who possess the knowledge and skills of first aid, actually acquire the learning at work by becoming a trained First Aider. This applies to not only pharmacists, but to a cross-section of businesses throughout the UK.

In order to assist in maintaining the future of first aid within the workplace, pharmacies have been identified as a growth area in being asked to actually supply the first aid kits and their refills to local shops and businesses. In this way, these businesses will then have a local supplier to keep their first aid kits well-stocked.

At Staff Defence, we provide a range of first aid training courses, all of which are fully-accredited with Highfield, a well-known national accreditation agency. We are all well aware that First Aid training can and does save lives, so we encourage you to review our First Aid at Work Level Three Training Course at the Link below and reserve a place at your earliest convenience:-




(*1). First Aid Saves Lives (August 2019) P3 Pharmacy

(*2). New BS 8599-1:2019 Workplace First Aid Kits Update British Healthcare Trades Association

(*3). Updated BS8599-1:2019 Workplace First Aid Kit Standard Published