What Should be in a Workplace First Aid Room?

Thu 7 Dec 2023
posted by Arco Professional Safety Services

What Should be in a Workplace First Aid Room?

Accidents and illness can happen at any time and first aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones. Making appropriate first aid arrangements for your workplace is crucial. In doing so, you should consider the circumstances of your workplace, workforce and the health and safety risks that may be present to help you decide what arrangements you need to put in place.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2022/23 there were 60,645 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR¹ and 3.7 million working days lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries according to self-reports from the Labour Force Survey.²

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 sets out the essential aspects of first aid that employers have to address. These regulations apply to all workplaces, including those with fewer than five employees. The regulations require you to provide ‘adequate and appropriate’ first-aid equipment, facilities, and people so your employees can be given immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work. 'Adequate and appropriate' is dependent on your workplace circumstances and should be defined by your first aid needs assessment. The minimum first-aid provision in any workplace is: a suitably stocked first-aid kit; an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements; information for employees about first-aid arrangements.

First Aid Room Requirements

A well-designed first aid room should contain the essential first aid kit, as well as providing a suitable workplace environment where employees can be treated. They are usually necessary in workplaces where there are higher levels of risk, such as chemical industries or on large construction sites and in larger premises that are a distance away from medical services. A designated person should be given the responsibility for supervising it and the room should be clearly signposted and identified by white lettering or symbols on a green background.

According to the HSE, first aid rooms should:

  • Be large enough to hold an examination/medical couch, with enough space at each side for people to work, a chair, and any necessary additional equipment
  • Have washable surfaces and be kept clean, tidy, accessible, and available for use at any time when employees are at work
  • Have adequate heating, ventilation, and lighting
  • Have a sink with hot and cold running water
  • Be positioned as near as possible to a point of access for transport to hospital
  • Display a notice on the door displaying the names, locations and, if applicable, the contact details of trained first aiders

If the first aid room(s) cannot be reserved exclusively for giving first aid, employers need to make sure that the first aid facilities can be made available quickly if necessary.

Employers should carry out an assessment of first aid needs within their workplace to determine what facilities to provide, which generally include:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Defibrillator
  • Eye Wash Dispenser
  • Accident Report Book
  • Medicine Cabinet
  • First Aid Posters
  • First Aid Signage
  • First Aid Room Furniture

Additional items required for First Aid rooms include:

  • A sink with running hot and cold water always available
  • Smooth topped working surfaces
  • Soap and paper towels
  • Frequently cleaned pillows and blankets
  • Suitable refuse containers lined with a disposable plastic bag
  • Clean protective garments for use by first aiders

Arco Professional Safety Services offer a range of first aid training, both online and classroom based.

Online courses include First Aid at Work Refresher (FAW), First Aid Appointed Person and First Aid Requirements & RIDDOR. Classroom based, instructor-led courses available include Emergency First Aid at Work, First Aid at Work (including AED) and First Aid at Height.

For more information and expert guidance on your first aid provision in the workplace visit

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