What Needs to Be in a First Aid Kit?



Alsco green first aid kit full of medical supplies

This greatly depends on your type of workplace. There is a minimum requirement for the contents of the first aid kit for a workplace that doesn’t have any specific risks.

And this is just suggestions based on the experience of the professionals and the needs that they have had in the practice. However, you may need a completely different set of provisions.

For example, you may need a lot more of adhesive dressings if you are running a big kitchen. The cuts are to be expected in such a workplace, and the first aid is all about being prepared and acting fast.

The first aid kit should at least includes the following:

  • First aid manual or guide
  • Saline solution
  • Moist wipes (individually wrapped)
  • Adhesive dressings (at least 20 in different sizes, individually wrapped)
  • 2 sterile eye pads
  • 2 sterile triangular bandages (sterile, individually packed)
  • Clasps or safety pins
  • 2 stretch bandages
  • Unmedicated wound dressings (6 pieces 12 cm x 12 cm and 2 pieces 18 cm x 18 cm)
  • 2 pairs of disposable gloves
  • Resuscitation mask
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Hand sanitiser

Alsco New Zealand has fully stocked First Aid kits that can be packed with supplies appropriate for your workplace. We also restock the kits and check them regularly, so that you always have what you need in the case of an emergency.

How Do You Maintain the First Aid Box?

You maintain your first aid supplies by putting them in an appropriate box, replenishing the supplies before the expiry date and checking them regularly.

First aid box – First of all, you need a well-made box to keep your supplies in. This box needs to be clearly marked with the recognisable cross on it. It needs to keep the supplies sterile and it needs to protect them from moisture and dust, as well.

first aider sign poster
Round First Aider
evacuation procedure message poster
Evacuation Procedure (portrait)
safety board first aid tag
Safety Board (portrait)

Restocking the supplies – many of the first aid supplies have an expiry date. You need to keep those dates in mind and to replace the expired items before that date. That is the only way to ensure that the first aid box is functional and ready to use.

Regular checking – Some of the sterile packages may be compromised for some reason. Moisture may have entered the first aid box and damaged some of the supplies. You never know what may happen and in the case of emergency, you will rarely have the time to open one first aid kit by one and look for usable dressings.

All this is regularly done by Alsco NZ professionals when the first aid kits are rented from us. We drop by regularly, check the state of the kits, replace the items that are close to their expiry date and leave you with a perfect kit.

Are Workplace First Aid Kits Required?

The New Zealand Department of Labour issued First Aid for Workplaces – A Good Practice Guide to help businesses understand the requirements when it comes to first aid. This includes the first aid kits. This guide recommends the following:

  • At least one first aid kit in the workplace
  • At least one first aid kit on each storey if the workplace has more than one storey
  • Additional first aid kit should be provided on every 50 employees of the company
  • At least one kit in every company vehicle

Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 say that the first aid facilities (i.e. first aid kits) need to be:

  • In good working order
  • Clean, safe and accessible
  • Suitable for work being carried out
  • Suitable to match the hazards of the workplace
  • Suitable for the size and location of the workplace
  • Suitable for the number of people who frequent the workplace

Visibility and accessibility – First aid kits need to be easily visible to anybody in the room and they should never be locked. There are situations where even the first aid kits need to be locked and if that is the case, you should ask for sealed kits.

Location – In the vicinity of your first aid kit, there should be a wash basin. The access to hot and cold running water is important, as well as the supply of clean towels. If this is not accessible, it is essential that your first aid kits contain the sterile solution, wipes and hand sanitising gel.

If your workplace has areas with increased hazard, that is where you should position your first aid kit.

How Many First Aiders Are Needed in a Workplace?

The Health and Safety Employment Act from 1992 covers the requirements about the workplace first aiders but doesn’t explicitly state how many first aiders are needed per workplace.

First aiders are the trained and qualified people within the workplace, who have their certificates on first aid and they should be the go-to people in case of an emergency.

To find out how many qualified first aiders you need for your workplace, you need to conduct the first aid needs assessment. The assessment includes closely examining the conditions and the requirements of your workplace while considering the following:

  • Size and location of your workplace
  • The number of people present at all times
  • Distance from the nearest medical facility
  • Shift work
  • Presence of a registered nurse or other medical workers

The first aiders should be trained by an organisation which is authorised to issue the first aid certifications. They even have to take regular refresher courses every two years.

That is a lot to think about when it comes to first aid requirements for your company. To make your first aid kits one thing less to worry about, rent them from Alsco New Zealand. We offer both vehicle and workplace kits that match all the requirements. We install them, check up on them and restock them without additional charge.

Get your first aid kits today.


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Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.