Different workplaces will have different requirements for their first aid kits.
If you are working in an office with low levels of risks for a workplace injury, a simple, basic first aid kit will be enough.
However, if you are working in the mining industry, you will need a much better stocked first aid kits.
While restaurant businesses will have more need for bandages and adhesive dressings, you can expect for the miners to have more need for resuscitation masks and more sterilisation supplies.
Either way, every first aid kit should contain at least the following:
- Phone numbers and contact information of first aiders
- Adhesive dressings
- Eye pads
- Bandages (regular and stretch)
- Saline solution
- Safety pins
- Resuscitation mask
- First Aid Guide
You need to assess your workplace first. Alsco NZ already has decades in supplying workplaces with first aid kits and similar items. Contact Alsco today and let us help you rent appropriate first aid kits.
What Supplies Should Be in the First Aid Kit?
Let’s get back to the basic first aid supplies and try to go into a bit more detail about them. This will help you determine which of these supplies you really need and which can be reduced to a minimum to make room for the more useful items.
First aid guide and contact information – this should definitely stay in your first aid kit. Your workplace needs first aiders and people are sometimes flustered in the emergencies, so they cannot remember details like phone numbers or even whom they should call. The first aid guide should be there to help people start administering the first aid as soon as possible.
Wipes – these should be individually wrapped, moist and easily opened. They are necessary if there is no easy access to hot and cold running water, as sometimes, wounds need to be cleaned.
Adhesive dressings – for all the cuts and minor bleedings, adhesive dressings make the best first aid. These should also be individually wrapped and there should be at least 20 of them in different sizes.
Eye pads – it is best to have 2 sterile eye pads for all the emergencies in which the eyes are hurt and need to be protected from the outside influence.
Bandages – there should be both stretch and regular, triangular bandages in your first aid kit. All of them should be sterile. You need at least two triangular ones and two stretch bandages.
Wound dressings – it goes without saying that the wound dressings should be sterile. They also need to be unmedicated. The best is to two sizes of wound dressings. The smaller one is 12 cm x 12 cm and the larger one is 18 cm x 18 cm. You need 6 small and 2 bigger dressings.
Saline solution and hand sanitisers – these two items are in your first aid kit so that you can make sure the open wounds are not infected. The saline solution can be used to wash the wound and prevent contamination. The hand sanitiser should be used to quickly sanitise the hands of the person administering the first aid. Again, all in the aim of preventing the infections.
Resuscitation mask – this mask is used to help your CPR efforts. It is placed on the patient’s mouth and nose and the air is breathed through the opening. In that way, the contamination is prevented.
Other helpful items – these include gloves, scissors, tweezers and similar items. Their use is to facilitate opening of the packages, removing foreign objects from the wounds, help maintain sterile conditions and the like.
Are Workplace First Aid Kits Required?
Everybody will agree that the first aid kits are needed, but the question remains – are they legally required. The Health and Safety at Work Regulations cover the legal requirements of the workplace first aid. This is where you get the most precise information about the laws covering the first aid kits (facilities) and the first aiders.
The law says that the first aid kits need to be:
In good working order – In other words, you should be able to open, use and close your first aid kit without issues. It should not be compromised in any way, including the environmental conditions like moisture and extreme temperatures.
Clean, safe and accessible – there should be nothing blocking the access to the first aid kit. The worst thing you can do is hide it behind a plant, a piece of furniture and other objects. It needs to be visible and obvious to everyone. Maybe your employees already know where it is, but what if the person who needs to access the first aid kit is simply visiting your premises and doesn’t know them that well. Don’t forget to enable the access for the person’s in wheelchairs, as well.
Suitable for work carried out – again, this is about the contents of your first aid kit, but also about its size and location. The work that is conducted mainly from the cars, should have the vehicle first aid kits. The workplace that has increased levels of risk for the eye injury should have more eye patches in the kits.
Appropriate for the size, location and the number of people in the workplace – each workplace should have at least one first aid kit. If there are more buildings or the building is multi-storey, each storey should have at least one first aid kit. The same goes for the company vehicles. However, the number of kits should be increased if there are more than 50 people in the workplace. Generally, you need one additional first aid kit on every 50 people.
Meeting these legal requirements is absolutely critical in work environments such as schools, for instance. See how you can promote health and safety in schools by providing proper school washroom facilities according to the New Zealand standards.
Contact Alsco NZ and, when it comes to first aid, we will do the thinking for you. Our rental system allows you to get first aid kits installed in the best possible places in your workplace. We also restock them and check them regularly for no additional fee. Get your best first aid kits today.