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  • Writer's pictureSasha

What colors are first aid kits required?

Everyone knows that first aid kits come in all shapes and sizes; they are also made up of the same components.

This is why to keep your workplace safe; you need to ensure you have adequate first aid supplies, including bandages, gauze pads, and cleaning materials.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also have requirements about what kinds of first aid supplies are appropriate for your facility and how many of each supply should be available where your employees work.

Due to this, it is essential to know what colors are considered safe for first aid boxes and supplies, so that employees can recognize them quickly in an emergency.

First aid kit colors depend on the country.

The standard color for a first aid supplies in the United States is white, while Green with a white cross is generally recognized as a symbol of first aid here in the U.K and Europe and it is an ISO standard.

This is due to different regulations set by the OSHA and the European Union (EU).

In the US, OSHA requires that all first aid supplies be labeled with a white cross on a green background, while the EU requires workplace first aid kits to be in a green cross on a white background.

As such, most manufacturers produce adequate first aid supplies with these colors to meet the requirements of both markets.

In some cases, however, the manufacturer may use a black cross on a yellow background to indicate that the first aid kit does not contain any dangerous substances and that the first aid supplies shall be readily available.

Standard First Aid Boxes

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established that first aid boxes shall be red.

The two classes of first aid are class A and class B. Class A first aid kits are unitized with supplies that are readily available to treat minor burns, cuts, scrapes, and bruises.

Class B first aid kits are workplace first aid kits containing supplies that shall be readily available to treat more serious injuries such as broken bones and profuse bleeding.

Workplace first aid kit contents may vary depending on the workplace, but all first aid kits must contain personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks.

Burn treatment supplies should also be included in a unitized first aid kit with instructions on treating various degrees of burns.

Color Code Compliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all first aid supplies be color-coded.

The standard colors are white, green, and red.

White is for general items such as bandages and ointments. Green is for eye wash and other items used for minor injuries. Red is used for major injury items such as tourniquets and splints.

According to OSHA, these three colors should always be present in a first aid kit.

If you do not have enough room to store all three kits in your workplace or facility, the minimum requirement is to have a fully stocked white kit and an appropriate number of other kits in either green or red according to need.

Since each classes of first aid kit has unique needs, keeping them separate from one another is essential.

A red box would contain only those items needed for life-threatening emergencies for injured employees; a green box would contain those needed for minor wounds and burns; a white box would contain those required for everyday cuts and scrapes.

For the military IFAK, the color is green, coyote brown, camouflage

The IFAK is a small, trauma-oriented first-aid kit that can be easily carried on the person in a pouch.

The IFAK was designed to provide immediate treatment to three leading causes of death on the battlefield: exsanguination (bleeding out), airway obstruction, and tension pneumothorax (collapsed lung).

The standard IFAK must be military green, coyote brown, or camouflage to match the uniform. The IFAK is a different color, so it can be easily distinguished from the other kits.

SWAT first aid kit comes in black color to fit their uniform.

The United States Federal standard for first aid kit colors mandates that first aid kits intended for use by emergency responders must be colored white, green, or orange.

However, many law enforcement and military organizations have adopted black as the color for their first aid kits.

The rationale is that black is an evident color that will stand out in low-light or smoke-filled environments.

Plus, black is the color of most tactical gear and uniforms, so it makes sense to have a first aid kit that blends in with this type of clothing.

Other colors of first aid kits: safety orange, blue, and black

Although the standard first aid box is white, there are some other colors of first aid kits: safety-orange, blue, and black.

Each color has a different meaning and purpose. For example, white first aid kits are typically used in settings with a low risk of injury, such as in an office setting.

Blue first aid kits are usually used in locations with a higher risk of injury, such as factory settings.

Black first aid kits are typically used in environments with a very high risk of injury, such as in a mining setting.

Orange first aid kits are typically used in settings with a high risk of injury and potential environmental hazards, such as on construction sites.

Proper Color Coding

In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that first aid kits be color-coded according to their contents.

This helps ensure that workers can quickly identify the type of kit they need in an emergency. Standard first aid kit colors are as follows:

  • Blue: General purpose

  • Green: For minor cuts and scrapes

  • Yellow: For more serious injuries

  • Red: For burns

  • White: For eye injuries


The standard color for a first aid kit is white. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) sets the standards for first aid kit colors.

The ANSI Z308.1-2015 standard says that first aid kits shall be white with a green cross.

However, some employers may choose to have different colors for their first aid kits. For example, some companies use red first aid kits because red is the color of emergency vehicles.

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