Keeping a first aid kit at home is an obvious choice. It's also common sense to keep a few supplies with you in the car. But do you have a first aid kit where you work? Workplace incidents are more common than you think, and having a first aid kit available helps make sure everyone stays safe. Here's what you need to know about assembling a workplace first aid kit.
Workplace First Aid Kits: What Does Your Workplace Need?
One of the first things to think about when assembling a workplace first aid kit is your workplace's level of risk. What is the likelihood that people in your workplace could be injured on the job? If you work in an office or a shop, the risk is likely low. If you work in a warehouse or a construction site, the risk is likely high.
The number of people in your workplace is also worth thinking about. If you have less than 25 people in a low risk environment, a small kit is sufficient. If you have more than 100 in a low risk environment, a large kit is more suitable. For high risk environment, those numbers decrease to less than 5 for a small kit. If you have more than 25 workers in a high risk environment, make sure there is one large first aid kit for every 25 workers.
What Should I Put in My Workplace First Aid Kit?
The right items for your workplace first aid kit depend on your level of risk and the type of work you do. If you work in a small, low risk workplace, keep a supply of basic items on hand. Purchase a pre-assembled kit or create your own. Basic supplies such as sterile dressings in assorted sizes, triangular bandages, disposable gloves, pain relievers, and saline cleansing wipes are all appropriate to have on hand.
Higher risk workplace kits may vary based on type of work. For example, a kit in a restaurant's kitchen may include burn ointment and extra small to medium size dressings appropriate for knife accidents. Workplaces that have a high risk for sprains and other muscle injuries (such as a warehouse) will benefit from a kit that includes cold packs and elastic wrap.
Who Keeps the Kit?
Unlike a home or car kit, a workplace first aid kit will be accessed by many people in many different situations. Therefore, it's important to keep track of where the kit is, which items are in it, and what needs to be replaced. Consider appointing an employee to be in charge of your workplace kit. This person should know where the kit is at all times and conduct periodic checks to determine when new items are needed.
Even the safest workplace can have incidents. By keeping a well stocked first aid kit on hand, you can keep small accidents from becoming large problems.