Does Your Business Have a Proper First Aid Kit? What’s Required?

First Aid Kits are something your business may keep around for a while and never use. Some companies may use them more often than others. Either way, when was the last time you looked into what exactly you’re supposed to have in it? Maybe you did so years ago but aren’t sure about the most recent laws. That could be an issue.

Don’t panic. This article will help you figure it out, get the right information, and help you ensure your employees’ safety. 

What is First Aid?

First aid focuses on preserving life and diminishing severe injury. For example, maintaining breathing and circulation, halting bleeding, and stabilising broken arms or legs.

  • First aid is the fast primary care given to a sick or injured person before a health professional or an emergency services professional takes over treatment. 
  • First aid is an essential piece of providing a healthy and safe employment environment. Still, it does not take the place of the requirement to assess workplace risks and minimise or eliminate them.
  • The Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 2016, PCBUs (Person[s] Conducting Business or Undertakings) must offer first aid for employees at work. 
  • A PCBU should not charge a worker for any first aid or safety services, including providing first aid kits or health treatment facilities. 
  • This guide includes recommendations to help you weigh the possibilities when choosing first aid facilities and equipment. It also suggests ways to organise your facilities, kits, and aiders.
  • Of course, in an emergency, you should phone 111.

As a PCBU, you have three primary things to consider when choosing what first aid facilities and equipment you need: 

  • Do you have adequate kits and facilities to administer first aid? For example, some businesses may need a room dedicated to first aid.
  • Do you know the number of trained first aiders you’ll need to have available to provide first aid?
  • Have you provided your workers with information about the first aid you provide?

Recommendations for First Aid Kits

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, & Employment published First Aid for Workplaces–A Good Practice Guide to help businesses understand first aid requirements. The guide includes the following recommendations: 

  • At least one first aid kit on site 
  • At least one first aid kit per storey; if there is more than one storey you will need multiple first aid kits
  • Additional first aid kits provided for every 50 employees of the company
  • At least one kit in each company vehicle
  • A system to regularly replenish items

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

  • Fully functional
  • Clean, safe, and easy to access
  • Suitable for work tasks
  • It makes sense for the hazards of the workplace
  • It makes sense for the size and location of the workplace
  • It makes sense for the number of people who are in the workplace regularly

First Aid Kit Contents

You can buy premade First Aid Kits. You can also make your own or use this list to make sure your kit has everything you need. Like over-the-counter pain relievers, other things are allowed at the employer’s discretion–although only medical personnel can administer them.

Amounts of these items can also be adjusted based on needs in the workplace. 

First Aid Kits Should Be Easily Visible and Accessible

First aid kits should be visible to anybody in the room and never locked. If there is an incident where they might need to be locked, you should ask for sealed kits.


There should be a washbasin near your first aid kit. Access to hot and cold water is essential, as well as the availability of clean towels. If not, it is important that your first aid kits have sterile solutions, wipes, and hand sanitising gel.

If your workplace has a high risk of hazards, that is where your first aid kit should go.

This requirement extends to mobile employees who travel on the job. Employers are required to make sure the vehicle they drive is safe and appropriate for the road and that the car has a proper first aid kit available. 

Mobile phones, radio access, or other methods should be available so that the employees can contact someone in case of an emergency. 

Number of Aiders Needed

The Health and Safety Employment Act of 1992 includes the first aiders’ requirements in the workplace but does not specify a mandatory number of first aiders. There is no explicit requirement for trained employees, but the Act requires employers to develop procedures for emergencies. 

First aiders are qualified and trained people in the workplace. They have certificates in first aid training. They should be the people everyone goes to in an emergency. To determine the qualifications needed for your workplace, you need to conduct the first aid needs assessment. 

The assessment evaluates the needs of your workplace by considering:

  • Location and size of the workplace
  • The number of people on-site at all times
  • Distance from the closest medical facility
  • Shift work
  • Staffing of a registered nurse or other medical workers
  • The type of work carried out and the safety risks involved

First aiders require training by an organisation authorised to issue certifications. They take refresher courses every two years. 

Keep a Register

The government revoked employers’ requirement to keep a first aid treatment register under the Factories and Commercial Premises (First Aid) Regulations 1985. 

The need to record an accident register (under section 25 of the HSE Act 1992) remains, and the treatment performed on an injured person must be recorded in the accident register.

Contact Us for More Info

NZ Survivor can complete workplace audits, assessments and training based on the unique needs of your business, location and teams. We supply full product lines for Civil Defence & First Aid Cabinets/kits exclusive to NZ Survivor. 

We also offer team talks / training for our business customers. NZ Survivor manages your emergency stock expiry dates for free over the term of our relationship and charges no annual management fees. 

Check out the NZ Survivor store today to ensure that you and your employees are prepared for any situation.aide

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