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July 28, 2011

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New standard for first-aid kits launched

A new national standard for workplace first-aid kits has been launched to ensure that they contain the right equipment to meet employers’ needs.

Legislation requires employers to ensure that first aid kits are readily available in the workplace and of the right composition to meet their needs following their own risk assessment. However, the contents of workplace first-aid kits were last reviewed in 1997 and since then there have been extensive changes in training protocol, new product innovations and increasing infection control.

In order to bridge this gap, the British Standards Institute (BSI) joined forces with the HSE and the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) to launch a new national standard for workplace first-aid kits in the UK.

Since the introduction of the new standard, which became effective from 1 July, the BHTA has reviewed the contents of the four different sizes of first-aid kits that it sells, to ensure that they now include increased quantities of products identified as insufficient, including plasters and wipes.

The kits also now contain scissors/shears, burns dressings, foil survival blankets, resuscitation face shield, nitrile gloves, and adhesive tape. Quantities of other items have been reduced to keep the overall sizes of kits broadly similar to the existing ones.

The existing BHTA first-aid kits will remain on the market until the end of 2011, after which they will be withdrawn.

For more information, visit

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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