There are no set guidelines for checking kits, however it is advisable to check them on a regular basis to ensure they are fully stocked.
Planning frequency depends on use. A review of your accidents over the last twelve months for your first aid needs assessment will tell you how often each box or bag is used and it should highlight the type of accidents you are dealing with. Each box/bag is stocked with items that reflect this audit.
There is a recommended minimum for your kits which is shown on my website www.paulkenny.me This list is also available from the HSE website.
There are two lists:
When checking kits, the contents should be:
- Within the use by date
- Still sealed
- Packaging intact
- Stocked to match the number of bodies on site
- Is water available close to the kit?
You can have what ever you want as long as you justify it with evidence from previous incidents.
Remember no pills, creams or potions.
Water needs to be available at all times so wall kits need to be mounted near or in the same room as a sink and portable kits need a small sealed, sterile water bottle. ‘Still’ water bottles with a sports nozzle are ideal but remember it needs to be sterile and sealed. Also if it is a bottle of water it needs a sticker on saying for First Aid or HSE use only.
As a company we check our first aid kits every Monday and record in each kit a completion list on a monthly checklist. Each week a different member of the team checks the kits as each one has additional items as well as the HSE Minimum to meet that area of use. By doing the rotation on staff checks, all staff get familiar with the kits in that room or area.
Each kit has copies of blank accident forms and Patient report forms as well as the monthly check tick sheet. We also have a monthly treatment spreadsheet for minor injuries where wipes or plasters are used and don’t need a full accident form. On playground duties this spreadsheet will be daily and must be stored in a folder in the office. The only people to access this should be recognized first aiders.
As a busy first aid company we check fixed wall kits weekly and our portable kits daily.
If you have mobile kits used everyday on playground duties then these should be checked daily and a small amount of regular used stock need to held on site. Don’t hoard dressings as they usually only have a short 3 to 4 year shelf life.
If you are a venue that does not have many incidents the minimum really should be monthly.
I have not mentioned the BS8599-1 kits here and will cover this in my next update.
Hope this helps.
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for any information you need.