First aid supplies in the workplace are one of those items that you never really think about until you need it. As a matter of fact, OHSA has reported that as many of 32% of eligible businesses and companies in the U.S. don’t have an up to date first aid kit onsite.
When stocking your workplace first aid supplies, it’s a good idea to follow the recommendations by OSHA. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3317first-aid.pdf
OHSA recommends employer’s either give or assign a specific person in the organization the responsibility for choosing the types and amounts of first-aid supplies and for maintaining these supplies. The supplies must be adequate, should reflect the kinds of injuries that occur, and must be stored in an area where they are readily available for emergency access.
In addition to the standard first aid supplies, OHSA is also now suggesting that companies consider having an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site along with a percentage of the employees or staff with training on how to use it.
In addition to the suggested supplies for first aid, OHSA has added ten items that are listed as required supplies. The new standard also calls for the kits to be labeled with specific wordage.
The first 10 items below are considered required now:
1. Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
2. Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
3. Box adhesive bandages (band-aids).
4. One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide.
5. Two triangular bandages.
6. Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes.
8. At least one blanket.
10. Adhesive tape.
11. Latex gloves.
12. Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or
13. Two elastic wraps.
15. Directions for requesting emergency assistance.
If you happen to be responsible for the first aid kit in your office, you have two choices:
- Create the kit by purchasing supplies individually
- Purchase a pre-prepared kit
The pre-prepared kits are the most popular option, and the model that we carry can be seen here. For larger operations, employers or management should determine how many first-aid kits are needed, and if it is appropriate to augment the kits with additional first-aid equipment and supplies. Employers who have unique or changing first-aid needs should consider upgrading their first-aid kits.
If you aren’t sure or are confused about the content of a first aid kit, consider consulting with the local fire and rescue service or emergency medical professionals.
By assessing the specific needs of their workplaces, employers can ensure the availability of adequate first-aid supplies.