A fully-stocked first aid kit should be stored in every work area or site in a facility. In the event of an emergency, employees may have to provide first aid until the medics arrive. All workers should be trained in basic first aid, common hazards, and safe practices. They also need to know what they will find in a first aid kit.
Make sure you have everything you need in one place. In the middle of an emergency, there’s little time to track down the necessary supplies. A well-stocked first aid kit is crucial to treating workplace injuries.
Ensure you gather these must-have supplies for an effective workplace first aid kit. Restock and replace items as needed. Check batteries.
Tapes and Bandages
Every first aid kit must have the supplies necessary to bandage cuts and wounds. Bandages should include various types and sizes.
The first aid kit should include:
- Adhesive tape
- Elastic wrap bandages
- Bandage strips and “butterfly” bandages
- Nonstick sterile bandages
- Roller gauze
- Triangular bandage
- Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
You don’t know what incidents and injuries may arise, so ensure every kit has the tools and equipment needed to treat a variety of conditions.
Stock the first aid kit with:
- Several pairs of disposable nonlatex gloves
- Safety pins in assorted sizes
- Scissors and tweezers
- Eye shield or pad
- Aluminum finger split
- Instant cold packs
- Duct tape
- Plastic bags
- Breathing barrier
Ointments and Solutions
Burns and wounds will likely need ointments. Sanitizer will be necessary for wounds and for workers’ hands. Remember to include:
- Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Soap or hand sanitizer
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic solution and towelettes
- Insect repellent
A workplace first aid kit should have some basic medications to treat common ailments such as colds, digestive problems, pain, and burns. Keep unexpired supplies of:
- Cough and cold medications
- Aloe vera gel
- Calamine lotion
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Laxative and antacids
- Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
Other Must-Have Supplies
A workplace emergency may involve fires, explosions, spills, collapses, and power outages. It’s a good idea to include in a first aid kit the things needed to respond to an incident. Other items it would be handy to store with a first aid kid include:
- Waterproof matches
- Emergency space blanket
- Waterproof flashlights and extra batteries
- First-aid manual
- Emergency phone numbers
One essential supply you won’t find in a first aid kit is comprehensive safety training. In an emergency, you don’t have time to hunt down all the supplies and Google what you should do. Workplace safety training prepares workers with the knowledge and skills to properly react during an incident. Workplace safety training should include:
- General safety
- Common hazards
- Equipment and vehicle safety
- Fall protection
- Electrical safety
- Hand and power tools
- Personal protective equipment
- Basic first aid
It’s not enough to have a first aid kit with all the recommended supplies. People need to know what to do with it.
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