New standard for motor vehicle first aid kits offers immediate assistance at accident scenes

3 April 2014

BSI, the business standards company has recently published a new piece of guidance for use at the scene of motor accidents. BS 8599-2 Motor vehicle first aid kits – Part 2: Specification for the contents of motor vehicle first aid kits will bring existing UK regulations on first aid kits up to date. The standard will help to ensure that the appropriate equipment is on hand in case of an accident and will follow the standard first aid kit at work.

First aid equipment has the potential to save lives and reduce injury and whilst many new vehicles in the UK are equipped with a first aid kit, the majority of vehicles in the UK are not equipped with them. Having a standardized first aid kit for all types and sizes of vehicle will mean that when serious incidents involving major injuries occur, roadside first-aid can be administered immediately.

BS 8599-2 includes information on the following:

  • Contents of a motor vehicle first aid kit
  • Requirements given for the container holding the components
  • Marking and visibility of the kit
  • Motor vehicle categories
  • Sizing of kits based on vehicle type in sizes small, medium and large 

This is not only good news for road users, motorists and passengers but also for the motor organizations and emergency services. Manufacturers who wish to import or export a motor vehicle into and from the UK will benefit from the standard too as will road safety enforcers. 

Anne Hayes Head of Market Development for Governance and Risk at BSI said: “Every single day we come into contact with motor vehicles or transport, so having the peace of mind that there is an equipped and functional first aid kit in place, in case of accidents, is crucially important. A defined piece of guidance that sets out the rules clearly and shows users what to look for, enhances that sense of security greatly and is a positive development for road traffic safety.”

Some of the organizations involved with the development of BS 8599-2 include British Healthcare Trades Association, Department of Transport, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and Transport Research Laboratory as well as experts from the emergency care industries. 

There is currently no mandatory requirement for motor vehicles to carry first aid kits as is the case in many countries in Europe, it is hoped that having such guidance in place will mean that the UK can follow suit.

Alastair Maxwell chairman of the BS 8599-2 committee at BSI and British Healthcare Trades Association said: “We are thrilled to have been one of the organizations involved with the development of the BS 8599-2 standard, especially as this is an issue that has such wide-reaching impact. We have taken a definite step forward for vehicle user safety and human welfare improvement in general.”