Properly stocked First Aid Supplies, can save lives but they might be overlooked in your workplace.
If an accident occurs in your place of work (and it will, as accidents do happen) you want to make sure you have the right tools and supplies on hand. Keep reading to uncover a First Aid Supplies Checklist, that no workplace should be without.
First Aid Supplies Checklist
If you haven’t thought about your company’s first aid kit in a while, now would be a good time to give your kit a little refreshing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) actually requires small work sites, such as offices to have a well-stocked first-aid kit that is easily accessible for all employees.
You might even need more than one kit, in spaces with more than four employees. It’s usually less expensive and time-consuming to get a kit that’s already pre-stocked, but you need to make sure that your kit has the following items.
Bandages and Gauze
The Red Cross suggests that your kit should have certain types of gauze and bandages in your workplace first aid kit.
The most common combination of these bandages and gauze include: sterile adhesive bandages in various sizes; sterile gauze pads that measure to at least three square inches; a roll of cloth tape that is at least ten yards long and one inch thick; as well as a roll of gauze that is ten yards long and four inches wide.
You’ll also want some triangular bandages, elastic wraps, and a blanket.
You might not be able to predict exactly what type of medical tools you will need in your first aid kit, which is why you’ll want a range of basic tools on hand. Some of these tools include surgical scissors so you can cut your gauze and tape, tongue depressors, tweezer, a scalpel, resuscitation equipment (like as a resuscitation bag) and a splint in case you have to set a broken bone temporarily.
You’ll want to make sure you properly store these tools in your kit by buying them already sealed and sterilized.
Gloves and Masks
It’s also important to have masks and gloves in your kit so you can prevent infections when you are administrating first aid to your employees. Make sure your kit has latex surgical gloves and surgical masks.
Medication and Ointments
You will also want some ointments and medications in your first aid kit, including an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen for general swelling and headaches, also aspirin since some people can’t take ibuprofen. Consider adding an antibiotic ointment or cream, an antiseptic ointment, and some over-the-counter pain medication.
Also, include non-drowsy nasal congestion, anti-diarrhea, and sore throat relief medication. You’ll also want wound cleaning supplies like hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls, and moistened towelettes.
You will also want to have some reference material on hand. Of course, if there ever is an emergency, the first thing you’ll want to do is contact emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.
You might also want to have a first aid reference manual on hand, which can help you determine what to do as you wait for a medical professional.
How to Choose a Pre-Packed First Aid Kit
There are also pre-packed kits and refills that you can purchase. If you go with a pre-sticked kit, refer to the checklist above and make sure you have everything in it. You will also want to check the quality of the kit and find one that has as many of these items as possible.
Office Safety Beyond First Aid Kits
You also want to take additional steps in your workplace to improve your office’s safety. While most first aid incidents in an office are not life-threatening, there is still the chance an employee could have something unexpected and fatal like a stroke or heart attack.
You might want to consider having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine in the office. You might also want to consider having at least one employee per department trained in knowing how to administer CPR.
The American Red Cross provides training on AED machines and how to administer CPR, this investment can save the lives of your employees.
Managing Your Emergency Medical Kit
Simply having a first aid kit isn’t enough. Your first aid kit shouldn’t be thrown into a closet and forgotten about until there is an emergency. On the other hand, you don’t want to be using your kit constantly without replenishing your supplies after you use them.
You will also want to make sure that your supplies are accessible. Let your employees know where the kit and supplies are, and how everything can be accessed if there is an emergency.
Your kits should be in an area that is easily accessible, but also not near any heat, cold or another area where the kit could get damaged. You might want to put your kit in a cabinet in your breakroom that is away from any food or windows.
Once your kit is stocked, make sure the supplies in the first aid kit are checked on at least once a month. You’ll want to check the supplies to make sure they are not expired and are fully replenished.
You also might want to consider adding more supplies to your kit like over the counter medications for allergic reactions. Just make sure your employees are aware of any side effects of these medications.
Make An Emergency Plan
Beyond the items on our first aid supplies checklist, you should also have an emergency plan. All of your office’s management and personnel staff should be trained to know how to access and respond to a medical situation.
Your plan should also include steps on how to care for a bleeding wound or what to do if someone needs CPR. You might also want to have twice the amount of supplies on hand in two different locations as a back-up. But make sure your office knows when and how to use all of these items.
Get Your First Aid Kit Together Today
Now that you have your First Aid Supplies Checklist, it’s time to put your first aid kit together. Remember, having a kit isn’t enough. You need to make sure everyone in your office knows where this kit is, and that you are constantly checking and replenishing your supplies.