First Aid Kit Must-Haves For Workspace Safety
Injuries at work are not something anyone wants, but accidents do happen. Most of them will be minimal and easily dealt with – provided that you have everything needed in your first aid kit.
There isn’t really a general list of mandatory items you have to have in your office first aid kit. It all depends on the type of company you run and the types of hazards found in your work environment. For instance, a construction company needs a well-equipped first aid kit with specialised equipment, while a smaller company with primarily office work will need only the essential items.
With that in mind, we will go through the things you need to include in your workplace first aid kit to maximise safety.
Basic first aid kit items
Most companies will be well off with a first aid kit that has the basic items. These will be enough to take care of pain, bruises, cuts, or minor illnesses in most cases. According to the US Occupational Safety and Health Standards, the basic recommendations for a first aid kit for a small company of 2-3 people are:
- 4 x 4-inch gauze pads.
- Two 8×10 inch large gauze pads.
- Box adhesive bandages (Band-Aids).
- One package gauze roller bandage is at least 2 inches wide.
- Two triangular bandages.
- Two elastic wraps.
- Wound cleaning agents such as sealed moistened towelettes.
- Latex gloves.
- Adhesive tape.
- At least one blanket.
- Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask.
- Directions for requesting emergency assistance.
Additional first aid kit items
When it comes to first aid preparedness, it’s always better to have more than less, especially if you work in a hazardous environment. Part of being prepared means having everything you may need for an emergency that goes beyond the few basic items we just listed. If your company is bigger or has high-risk jobs, consider adding the following items to your emergency kit:
- Latex-free (vinyl or nitrile) gloves
- Sterile eye pads
- Eye baths
- Saline solution
- Safety pins
- Break-open cold packs
- Hydrogel dressing
- Burn treatment sachets
- Burn gel dressing
- Moist wipes
How to be prepared for emergencies
Proper emergency planning and prompt action can improve the outcome for the injured person. So here are a few tips on how to improve workplace safety:
- Ensure that you have multiple first aid kits placed throughout the premises that are well stocked and easily accessible. Every sector and level should have at least one first aid kit.
- Make sure that there is no damage to the first aid kit container or contents and that there are no unauthorised items in it (like banned tablets, injections, or medications).
- There is no rule that if one emergency happens, another one won’t follow immediately after. So if any of the first aid kits have been recently used, replenish their contents as soon as possible.
- Consider handing “mini first aid kits” to employees for treating minor cuts and bruises.
First aiders and training
Having and knowing which people are responsible for the emergency kit significantly helps in the process. Some additional things you can do to improve the first aid kit efficiency are educating your staff and management about what emergencies are and how to provide first aid if an emergency happens. This would include one or more of the following:
- First aid course – A good step towards improving your workplace safety is having employees take a course on first aid. It will ensure that someone has the adequate knowledge to take care of emergencies and injuries until proper medical help arrives.
- A responsible person – Appoint an employee that will take charge of the first aid arrangements and keep the kit updated. It’s essential to keep tabs on what’s inside of it, what the expiration dates are, and if it has everything you would need for an emergency.
- Management courses: Part of the management responsibility is ensuring a safe working environment. Managers or directors should take a work health and safety course that would provide guidance on the best practices to maximise safety in the workplace.
In the end, you will never be able to mitigate the risk of accidents completely. There will always be a chance of someone tripping, falling, and injuring themselves, regardless of the surrounding. However, first aid kits can play a major role in reducing the severity of injuries in the workplace. Without a first aid kit, a small wound may lead to bleeding, blood loss, shock, and potential long-term health issues for the affected person.
The contents of the kit largely depends on the risks associated with performing your functions at work. So make sure to assess your needs regularly to ensure it has everything you may need.
Remember, a simple first aid kit may save lives.