How to comply with Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations

Posted by Pia Abrahams on

Workplace first aid kit requirements vary according to workplace risks and hazards.

Brenniston National Standard Workplace First Aid Kits deliver premium contents and compliance to suit health and safety standards in Workplaces.

All Australians are entitled to work in a safe, healthy and productive environment.

Workplace first aid compliance

Providing immediate and effective first aid to injured or ill workers and others at a workplace can reduce the severity of their condition and may also mean the difference between life and death.

In Australia, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations under the WHS Act make it a legal requirement that all workers have access to a first aid kit. This means at least one first aid kit be provided at every workplace in order to comply with the law. The contents of a workplace first aid kit should be based on a risk assessment of the work environment.

Brenniston provides a complete range of premium quality Brenniston National Standard First Aid Kits to help ensure first aid compliance at your workplace.

Workplace first aid kits


Choosing the best first aid kit for your workplace requires an assessment of the nature of the work, the associated risks and hazards, the size and location of the workplace, and the number of people who work there.

Because every workplace is different, workplace first aid kits vary according to workplace risk levels, intended purpose and location, and the number of people who will access it.

Practical guidance on workplace first aid and workplace risk management can be found in the First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice which is part of the WHS ACT.

Brenniston used this Code of Practice as a guide when creating our Brenniston National Standard.  Our Brenniston National Standard Workplace First Aid Kits and Refills are designed to help Australian workplaces comply with WHS regulations.

Guide to workplace risk management

A workplace risk management approach helps tailor your first aid arrangements to suit your workplace, including the number of first aid kits, the type of first aid supplies and the number of trained first aiders needed at your workplace.

There are 4 steps to workplace risk management:

1. Identify the hazards and risks that may cause workplace injury or illness

2.  Assess the type, severity and likelihood of injuries and illness

3. Provide the appropriate first aid equipment, facilities and training

4. Review your first aid requirements regularly and when circumstances change

Responsibility for workplace first aid kits and supplies

In Australia, a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) is the legal entity responsible for the business or undertaking. PCBUs include incorporated entities, sole traders, partners of a partnership and certain senior officers of an unincorporated association.

As a PCBU you have the primary duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers while they’re working in your business or undertaking. You are also responsible for ensuring work carried out does not carry risk to the health and safety of others.

Your duty of care extends to providing:

  • first aid equipment (kits and supplies)
  • access to first aid equipment
  • facilities for administering first aid
  • training for first aiders
  • access to first aiders

Consult with workers

Input and participation by workers improve decision-making around workplace health and safety.

As a PCBU you must consult with workers who carry out work for you, and who are likely to be affected by health and safety issues.

Workers include your own employees as well as contractors and subcontractors and their employees, on-hire workers, outworkers, apprentices, trainees, work experience students, volunteers and other people who are working for your business.

Consult with your workers when making decisions about what first aid equipment and facilities are needed for administering first aid, including the number and composition of workplace first aid kits and facilities, first aiders and first aid procedures.

Workplace hazards

Some workplaces have greater hazards and risk of injury and illness than others. The nature of work being carried out and the nature of the hazards at the workplace require different workplace first aid kits.

Manual tasks may lead to overexertion that can cause muscular strain. Accidental slips, trips and falls can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations and concussion.

Exposure to live electrical wires may cause shock, burns and cardiac arrest. Toxic or corrosive chemicals may be inhaled or may contact skin or eyes causing poisoning, chemical burns and irritation.

Workplace size and location

First aid kits should be located at convenient access points and in areas where there is a higher risk of injury or illness occurring at your workplace.

A large workplace may need first aid kits in multiple locations if work occurs across a vast area or on several different floors.

Remote or isolated workplaces may require additional first aid supplies and arrangements, such as the provision of oxygen facilities, or access for aerial evacuation. These workplaces are often far from emergency services so travel time, poor roads and weather conditions can have an impact on life-threatening injuries or illnesses.

To minimise the hazards and risks to remote and isolated workers’ health and safety, you must provide a safe working system including effective communication with workers.

Number and type of workers and others at your workplace

Your workforce includes contractors, subcontractors and volunteers that you engage.

This may mean the size of your workforce varies over time. When deciding who requires access to workplace first aid, consider the maximum number of workers you engage at one time. Usually, a larger workforce requires more first aid resources.

You should also consider the first aid needs of workers with disabilities or known health concerns such as asthma or allergies, as well as others at your workplace who are not your workers such as clients, students and members of the public.

Access to workplace first aid kits, equipment, facilities and training

Workplace first aid kits, first aid equipment, first aid facilities and trained first aiders must be accessible to workers at all times, including night shift or overtime.

This means that every Australian workplace must carry at least one first aid kit, kept in an easily accessed, unlocked location.

Workplace first aid kit contents

A workplace first aid kit must provide basic first aid equipment and first aid supplies for administering first aid for injuries including:

  • Muscular sprains and strains
  • Shock
  • Minor burns
  • Eye injuries
  • Cuts, scratches, punctures, grazes and splinters
  • Major bleeding wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations

The contents of workplace first aid kits are based on a risk assessment. Workplaces with a higher risk of particular injuries should stock suitable first aid supplies.

Extra first aid supplies and first aid equipment for serious burns, breathing difficulties or allergic reactions are needed in remote and isolated workplaces.

Design of workplace first aid kits

Be immediately identifiable with a prominent white cross against a green background and contain a contents list.

First aid kits can be any size, shape or type to suit your workplace. At a minimum, each workplace first aid kit should:

  • Contain a contents list
  • Be immediately identifiable with a prominent white cross against a green background
  • Be made of material that protects the contents from dust, moisture and contamination
  • Be large enough to contain the necessary items 

Locations of workplace first aid kits

All workers must have access to first aid equipment including in security-controlled workplaces.

In the event of a serious injury or illness, quick access to your workplace first aid kit is vital. First aid kits should be kept in a prominent, accessible location where they can be retrieved quickly.

Workplace first aid kits should be located close to areas where there’s a higher risk of injury or illness. The closer the better.

If your workplace occupies several floors there should be at least one first aid kit on every second floor. Emergency floor plans displayed in the workplace should include the location of all first aid kits.

Portable workplace first aid kits must be provided in the vehicles of mobile workers such as couriers, taxi drivers, sales representatives, bus drivers and inspectors. These kits should be safely located in the glovebox or under a seat so they don’t become a projectile in a collision.

Maintaining and restocking workplace first aid kits

A person in the workplace, usually the first aider, should take responsibility for maintaining the workplace first aid kit. They should:

  • Monitor usage and ensure used items are replaced as soon possible
  • Carry out regular checks to ensure the first aid kit contains a complete set of the required items
  • Check all first aid items are in working order and have not deteriorated
  • Check all first aid items are within their expiry dates
  • Check sterile products are sealed and have not been tampered with
  • Sign and date the first aid kit’s contents list after each check

Brenniston First Aid Kit Auditors can check your workplace first aid kit for suitability and low or expired stock. They will design a program to optimise your first aid facilities, particularly high-turnover kits and multiple first aid stations.

Call Brenniston Customer Care on 1300 730 079 to arrange a workplace first aid kit audit. 

Other workplace first aid equipment

Every PBCU should consider whether other first aid equipment is necessary to treat the injuries or illnesses that may occur as a result of workplace hazards and risks.

This may include Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), signage, and eye wash and shower facilities.

Additional workplace first aid advice

Australia’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act, and the WHS Regulations under it, are designed to make your workplace healthier, safer and more productive.

If you are a person conducting a business or undertaking it’s your responsibility to provide workplace first aid kits and supplies for your workers, with full access.

Contact your state or territory Work Health and Safety  Authority to see how the WHS Regulations apply to you.

Call Brenniston Customer Care team on 1300 730 079 for personal service and expert advice on any workplace first aid kit and workplace first aid compliance questions you may have.