The Importance of First-Aid Kits



person check stock of first Aid Kit

Let’s assume one of your employees trips and tumbles down a flight of stairs. They may need immediate medical attention to help relieve the pain before receiving adequate medical assistance.

How would you react in such a scenario?

As distasteful as this may seem, accidents and certain medical conditions do occur.

This is especially true when you have employees who are more prone to accidents than others, including those with certain medical conditions.

A Brief Historical Background

First aid is not only a complex topic, but it also has a complex history. Let’s take a quick journey through time.

About a century and a half ago, a war in Italy ignited an idea that has since revolutionised the world. Henry Dunant, a businessman from Geneva, witnessed great misery and torment during the battle of Solferino in June of 1859.

This led him to assemble civilians composed of women and children. They went on to take care of the casualties and tended to their wounds regardless of their role in the battle.

Dunant later aided in the setting up of provisional hospitals. He also provided the resources needed at the time.

The formation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863 was later inspired by a book Dunant published titled A Memory of Solferino.

Robert Wood Johnson was inspired to create the first modern commercial first aid kit 25 years later while on a train to Colorado in 1888.

Johnson was the founder of the medical supply company Johnson and Johnson. The kit consisted of the essential pieces of equipment to be used when an injury occurs.

Nevertheless, during an emergency, having a first aid kit in the office can be lifesaving. If not, the situation could escalate before the injured person is able to go to the hospital.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Thus, ensure you have the necessary supplies in your workplace first aid kit. Preparedness could mean the difference between life and death.

With that said, having a workplace first aid kit is always a good idea whether it is a low- or high-risk work environment. It is a requirement by law according to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, but it can also help decrease the severity of an accident/injury.

Additionally, the workplace first id kit must include a range of items that can be used to treat:

  • Several common ailments
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sprains
  • Burns
  • Minor and major cuts and open wounds
  • Scrapes and bruises

The following are some essential items found in a first aid kit:

  • Bandages – Used to hold a wound dressing in place or support an injured joint
  • Burn Gel – Provides soothing pain relief on the affected area caused by a burn
  • Epi-Pen – Used during emergencies to treat severe allergic reactions caused by allergens such as foods, insect bites/stings, and more
  • Antiseptic wipes – Used to clean the skin around a wound
  • Eye-wash solution – Used to cleanse the eyes in an emergency
  • Adhesive bandage – For covering small cuts
  • Latex gloves – Protects the victim and the wearer from potential infections
  • Clean dressings – Used for covering open wounds

There are several reasons why having a first aid kit in the workplace is so important.

1. First Aid Can Save A Person’s Life

Large First Aid Kit Box 2
Alsco’s first aid kit Affordable – we charge you a single, all-inclusive annual fee

First aid is the response administered immediately after an accident, injury or illness occurs. It can make a huge difference to a victim.

Having a well-stocked first aid kit can boost your employees’ confidence. Proper first aid training gives them the ability to react immediately to an emergency.

Your employees must be up to date with the practical first aid courses. This training should only be from qualified trainers.

How often should your employees keep these skills updated? According to WorkSafe, a first aid training refresher should be conducted every two years.

Many lives have been saved as a result of the quick response, but only if it’s taken during the crucial moments of a life-threatening situation.

Recently, there have been numerous stories in the media highlighting the importance of having a well-stocked first aid kit and how useful the skills acquired in a first aid training can prove to be in the workplace.

Click here to read more on the importance of first-aid in the workplace.

The following are examples of the hazards in various places of work and their potential harm. According to WorkSafe:

  • Extreme manual labour can lead to exhaustion and straining of the muscles.
  • Slippery surfaces may lead to concussions, joint dislocations and fractures from falls.
  • Live, exposed electrical wires can lead to electrocution, cardiac arrest and severe burns.
  • Violent tendencies such as physical abuse can cause psychological and physical trauma.
  • Exposure to radiation can cause cancer.
  • Biological hazards can lead to infections and allergic reactions.
  • Extreme temperatures can lead to hypothermia or heatstroke.

2. Help Provide Urgent Relief Before the Paramedics Arrive

It should be noted that first aid treatment is not meant to completely cure a person with an injury, a medical condition or someone involved in an accident.

A medical-grade first aid kit is meant to give the victim basic treatment before the arrival of professional medical help. Having a workplace first aid kit is the initial step to being prepared for any kind of emergency.

You must inspect all first aid kits in your workplace. Immediately replace any contents that have been used.

It is also important to check the expiry date on all products. Make sure you throw out and replace expired items.

3. Lower The Risk Of a Wound Becoming Infected

You can’t always prevent your employees from getting injured. However, you can protect them when they do get hurt using a first aid kit.

A medical-grade first aid kit contains the necessary tools and pieces of equipment to clean out and cover up an open wound. This reduces the severity of the injury and in turn lowers the chances of the wound getting infected.

Shortens the Victim’s Healing and Recovery Period

A lowered risk of acquiring an infection means the healing and recovery period of the victim is drastically reduced.

4. Prevent Potential Liability Charges

According to the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016, it is the duty of the employer to provide their employees with adequate first aid equipment, facilities and/or training.

Anyone who does not follow these regulations will be charged with hefty fines.

5. Reduce The Chances Of A Severe Injury From Becoming Fatal

According to Injury Prevention and Environmental Health, it is estimated that “317 million nonfatal occupational injuries and 321,000 occupational fatalities occur globally each year.”

In a work environment, injuries can occur when you least expect them. The wrong move in a chemical plant or at a construction site could lead to a painful if not fatal injury. With a first aid kit, however, you can reduce the severity of the injuries.

Being well-prepared, knowing how to use a first aid kit and the right way to react during an emergency is reassuring to both the victim and the first responder.

Prevents Excessive Blood Loss

What do you do when one of the employees at your restaurant accidentally sustains a deep cut? What if the cut is bleeding uncontrollably?

Well, having a first aid kit close by can help. It provides the right tools needed to stop the bleeding before help can arrive.

The Answer You Have Been Searching For

Any business’ top priority should be the health and safety of their employees.

Having healthy workers means higher productivity. However, many businesses are concerned about the costs that come with purchasing and maintaining the legal number of required first aid kits in a place of work.

Luckily, there is a simple cost-efficient solution to this dilemma.

Due to the unpredictable nature of accidents in the workplace, you can now guarantee the safety of your employees with ALSCO NZ medical-grade managed first aid kits, which are specially crafted for any type of work environment.

Why Should You Subscribe to Alsco NZ’s First Aid Rental Service?

  • It’s a cost-efficient alternative to buying first aid kits.
  • Guaranteed free unlimited restock of any used or expired first aid supplies.
  • The contents in every kit are colour-coded for specific injuries.
  • We offer quarterly maintenance services.
  • Our workplace first aid kits meet the required OSH guidelines.
  • Alsco also offers vehicle and portable first aid kits, which are perfect for company vehicles so you can stay safe when on the move.

Visit us today to get a quote.

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Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.