CSA First Aid Kit Requirements - A Complete Guide to First Aid Kits in Canadian Workplaces

Ensuring workplace safety is essential for any organization. One of the key elements in achieving this is having a properly equipped first aid kit. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) sets the guidelines for first aid kits in Canadian workplaces, ensuring they meet the necessary requirements to handle common emergencies. The CSA Z1220-17 standard is designed to provide a unified approach to workplace first aid, helping businesses comply with both federal and provincial regulations.

What is CSA?

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a non-profit organization that develops standards and certification programs to ensure the quality, safety, and performance of various products and systems. Established in 1919, CSA has been a trusted leader in standards development, providing guidelines that help enhance public safety and organizational efficiency across numerous sectors, including healthcare, energy, and construction.

Understanding CSA First Aid Kits

CSA First Aid Kits are designed to meet the specific needs of different workplace environments, ensuring that employees have access to the necessary first aid supplies. The CSA Z1220-17 standard outlines the general requirements for these kits, including their classification, contents, and maintenance.

General Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits

Under the CSA Z1220-17 standard, workplace first aid kits must contain essential items to handle common injuries and emergencies. These items include:

Classification System for First Aid Kits

The CSA Z1220-17 standard categorizes first aid kits into three main types based on the level of risk in the workplace:

  • Type 1: Personal First Aid Kits
    • For isolated workers, such as drivers and remote personnel.
  • Type 2: Basic First Aid Kits
    • Suitable for low-risk workplaces like offices and retail stores.
  • Type 3: Intermediate First Aid Kits
    • Ideal for high-risk workplaces such as industrial sites and construction areas.
  • First Aid Kit Sizes

    To ensure accessibility and adequacy, CSA first aid kits come in various sizes, depending on the number of employees and the specific needs of the workplace:

    Table: Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits

    Kit Type Description Small (2-25 Workers) Medium (26-50 Workers) Large (51-100 Workers)
    Type 1 Personal First Aid Kits 1 N/A N/A
    Type 2 Basic First Aid Kits 1 2 small or 1 medium 4 small, 2 medium, or 1 large
    Type 3 Intermediate First Aid Kits 1 2 small or 1 medium 4 small, 2 medium, or 1 large

    Selection of Workplace First Aid Kits

    In determining the workplace first aid kit classification, size, and number, the organization should consider:

    • Level of Risk: The specific workplace environment and its associated risks.
    • Workplace Layout: The layout of the workplace, such as multi-level workplaces or high-rises.
    • Distance to Emergency Services: The distance from the workplace to emergency medical services and the response time.
    • Number of Employees: The number of workers dispersed over a wide area could require additional first aid equipment and supplies.
    • Remote or Isolated Areas: Workers in remote or isolated areas may need extra first aid provisions.

    Workplace First Aid Risk Assessment

    Conducting a workplace hazard assessment is crucial for determining the appropriate first aid kit and supplies needed. The steps involves:

    • Identifying Hazards: Determine hazards in the workplace that could result in injuries or illnesses.
    • Assessing Risks: Assess the likelihood and potential severity of injuries or illnesses.
    • Selecting Supplies: Choose the appropriate first aid supplies and equipment to respond effectively in emergencies.

      Maintenance of CSA First Aid Kits

      Regular maintenance of first aid kits is essential to ensure they are ready for use. This includes:

      • Regular Inspections: Inspect kits at periodic intervals to ensure the completeness and usability of all items.
      • Replenishment: Replenish kit supplies and equipment as items are used or reach the manufacturer's recommended expiration date.
      • Proper Storage: Ensure the kit is stored in a clean, dry place to protect contents from environmental damage.

      Requirements for First Aid Kit Containers

      The CSA Z1220-17 standard specifies that first aid kit containers must:

      • Be of sufficient size to hold all specified contents.
      • Be capable of being securely closed.
      • Be portable.
      • Protect contents from dust and moisture.
      • Be clearly labelled with the "First Aid" statement or symbol.

      To meet these requirements, first aid kit containers come in various options, including:

      First Aid Bags: At 72hours.ca, these bags are made with waterproof materials to protect the contents from damage and ensure they are ready for use when needed.      water resistant first aid bag
      Metal Cabinets: Ideal for mounting on walls, these cabinets provide a secure and accessible storage solution for first aid supplies. They are designed to be sturdy and protect contents from environmental factors.    Metal Cabinet 35.0cm x 41.5cm x 14.8cm (13.0" x 16.0" x 6.0")
      Plastic Boxes: These durable and portable boxes are perfect for easy transportation and protection of first aid supplies from dust and moisture.    Plastic Box, 16 Unit, Blank, 26cm x 18.1cm x 7.9cm opened

      These storage options are designed to meet the CSA Z1220-17 standards, ensuring your first aid kit is always in optimal condition and compliant with Canadian regulations. For more details on available storage options, visit this collection.

      Additional Considerations

      • Multiple Organizations in a Single Workplace: When multiple organizations operate in a single workplace, they should coordinate to ensure adequate first aid supplies.
      • Specialized First Aid Supplies: In some workplaces, additional specialized first aid supplies may be necessary to address specific risks.

      Table: Examples of Additional First Aid Supplies and First Aid Equipment

      Category Item
      Airway Airway suction device, Airway adjuncts
      Breathing Bag-valve mask, Equipment to deliver oxygen
      Circulation Blood pressure monitoring equipment
      Immobilization Immobilization device, Splints, Extrication collar
      Medications ASA, Epinephrine self-injector
      Temperature ThermometerBlankets
      Wound Care TourniquetBurn dressings, Tube gauze with applicator
      Other Universal trauma shears, Pocket guide

      CSA First Aid Kit Contents

      The contents of CSA first aid kits vary depending on the type and size of the kit. Below is a summary of the required items for different types of kits according to the CSA Z1220-17 standard:

      Table: CSA Z1220-17 First Aid Kit Contents

      Item Type 1 (Personal) Type 2 (Basic) Type 3 (Intermediate)
      Adhesive bandages 16 25-100 25-100
      Gauze pads 6-12 12-48 12-48
      Triangular bandages 1-2 2-8 2-8
      Adhesive tape 1 roll 2.3-9.1 m 2.3-9.1 m
      Antiseptic wound cleansing 6-25 25-100 25-100
      Antibiotic ointment 2-6 6-24 6-24
      Disposable gloves 2 pairs 4-16 pairs 4-16 pairs
      CPR resuscitation barrier 1 1 1
      Bandage scissors 1 1 1
      Splinter forceps/tweezers 1 1 1
      Emergency blanket 1 1 1-2
      Eye wash solution 1 1 1-2
      Eye pads 1 1-2 1-2
      Tourniquet 1 1 1
      Cold pack 1 1-4 1-4

      Compliance with Provincial Standards

      While the CSA Z1220-17 provides a unified standard, it’s important to note that first aid kit requirements can vary by province. Employers must ensure their first aid kits comply with both CSA standards and any additional provincial regulations.


      Ensuring your workplace is equipped with CSA-compliant first aid kits is a vital step in maintaining a safe working environment. By understanding and implementing the CSA Z1220-17 standards, employers can better prepare for emergencies, protect their employees, and comply with regulatory requirements.

      The information provided in this article is based on the document CSA Z1220-17 Standard. For more detailed and official guidelines, please refer to the original document available at CSA Group.

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