The importance of having a workplace first aid kit

It is vital that health and safety measures are put in place in the workforce to ensure that everyone is working in a safe environment. Having a first aid kit on hand is essential to be able to treat minor ailments and can prevent an injury or illness from worsening. Here is what you need to know about first aid kits in the workplace.

Accidents can occur anywhere and at any time and it is your responsibility as an employer to protect your employees from harm. Regardless of the size of your business, it is law to comply with the health and safety standards specific to your state or territory.

Do I need a first aid kit?

In short, yes. To meet workplace health and safety regulations you must have an up to date first aid kit that has been designed specifically for your work environment. For example, the safety risks in an office setting in comparison to a construction site, vary drastically. It is also important that you have a ratio of staff that are trained in first aid. A first aid kit can be used to its full potential when you have staff that know how to use the products correctly. This minimises the risk to employees and can aid in the healing process. 

What does my first aid kit need?

Although the items found in your first aid kit will vary depending on the type of business you run, here are some key products that should be found in all first aid kits:

Adhesive bandages

Adhesive bandages (also known as Band-Aids) are a basic staple item for any first aid kit. Typically used to treat minor cuts and scrapes.

Bandages

Both elastic and non-elastic varieties. They have a multitude of uses and should be in your kit. They are commonly used to treat sprains and breaks whilst waiting for help to arrive.

Scissors

Medical grade scissors are essential, whilst many of us have scissors somewhere in the workplace having a pair ready to use when you need them the most is invaluable and can save crucial time when treating someone. 

Tweezers

A good quality pair of tweezers are a must have for your kit and are good for getting out splinters, stingers, and ticks quickly and effectively.

Disposable gloves

Disposable gloves are vital not only to protect the first aid giver but the receiver too. They decrease the risk of transmitting germs and reduce the risk of infection. 

Disposable face shields

Face shields are used to give life saving CPR. They have a one-way filter valve which prevents the transmission of germs, bodily fluids, and blood. 

Adhesive tape

Adhesive tape is used to keep dressings and gauze materials on a wound. 

Antiseptic wash and ointment

Antiseptic wash and ointments reduce the growth of microorganisms and when used to clean a wound, cut, or scrape you can reduce the risk of infection and aid in the healing process.

You will need to restock the items promptly once used and the expiry dates should be checked and replaced regularly.

Where should the first aid kit be kept?

First aid kits should be kept in a location that is known to all staff members. It must assessable and within reach also. It should be kept in an area where the risk of injury is higher than other parts of the workplace. Employees that are required to drive as a part of their work should also have a first aid kit in their vehicle.

First aid risk assessment

When deciding what type of first aid kit is suitable for your workplace, you need to consider factors such as:

  1. The potential hazards within the workplace
  2. How large the workplace is
  3. The amount of people that work there, including periodic workers such as volunteers and contractors
  4. The work that is undertaken 

Considering these factors when conducting a thorough first aid risk assessment will give you an indication of the type of first aid kit, training, and equipment that your business will require. It is important to re-evaluate often and update it accordingly.

Equipment and personnel

Your employees must have access to: 

  1. Trained first aid staff
  2. First aid kit and equipment

Before purchasing a first aid kit for your business it’s important to do a first aid risk assessment to establish which kind of kit is suited best to your trade and the essential items you will need. It is a good idea to provide first aid training to your staff or have at least the minimum ratio of first aiders required for the amount of staff you have.

For example:

There should be one first aider for every:

50 workers in a low risk environment
25 workers in a high-risk environment
10 workers in a remote high-risk environment

In serious cases, applying the correct first aid techniques with the right products can be the difference between life and death. A well-equipped first aid kit can potentially save a life and prevent injuries from worsening. It is vital that your business has an adequate first aid kit to ensure the health and safety of your employees and to comply with the law.  Here at The First Aid Shop we have First Aid Kits that cater to every type of business. Simply order online or contact our friendly team on 1300423477.

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