How many first aid kits does your workplace have? This is a simple question, yet so vital for organisations to answer.
Injuries in the workplace are increasing.
Workplace accidents cost the economy of New Zealand upwards of $20 billion per year.
Accidents are unavoidable; yet, preparing your employees can help reduce the number of fatalities.
You must also conduct a needs assessment.
As a manager, you will understand the risks involved in the layout of the organisation and its size.
Make sure first aid equipment and facilities are adequate to cater for all workers. They include:
- First aid kits
- Portable defibrillators
- Eyewash stations
- Vehicle and portable kits
- Emergency response systems
Note: Besides providing first aid equipment, you must also provide trained first aiders. They could be members of the organisation or from outside your employment.
First aid requirements vary in every organisation. Factors to consider include:
1. The Number of Employees Affects How Many First Aid Kits You Need
The number of first aid kits required increases with an increase in your number of employees.
The higher the number of employees, the higher the number of injuries or fatalities.
A high number of employees is already a risk in itself. Picture this scenario:
A fire breaks out in a workplace with 500 employees. They all rush out at the same time. This is likely to cause further accidents in cases of limited exit points.
It is important to ensure the number of kits available is enough for the whole team.
2. What Risks Are Involved in Your Workplace
The level of risks involved depends on the activities carried out at an organisation.
Some work environments pose greater risks than others. An office environment will have fewer accidents compared to other high-risk environments. In a warehouse, objects may fall. In a manufacturing company, chemicals may spill. In a construction site, machinery may malfunction.
The nature of the risks involved will determine what number of first aid kits will be enough.
3. Where Your Workplace Is Located
Companies in remote areas need more first aid kits compared to those within major towns and cities.
Take an example of a company that constructs windmills in a far off area. Think of a company constructing a bridge in a remote area.
Areas that take an emergency service such as an ambulance more than thirty minutes to arrive are remote.
The only easy way such a place would be accessible is through air emergency services. This may not always be available and would make it difficult to reach the workers in case of an emergency.
Major construction projects take more time and involve a huge number of employees. This requires employees to work in shifts. These factors pose unprecedented dangers.
4. Size of First Aid Kits Available
First aid kits come in different sizes. You can pick from the different sizes depending on the number of people the workplace caters for. Also, think of the industry and the level of risk involved in the activities of your business.
The table below provides general guidelines on the sizes. This is dependent on the work environment and the number of employees. Besides this guide, a first aid risk assessment is useful in making crucial decisions.
|Workplace Environment||Number of Employees||Recommended First Aid Kit|
|Low risk||Less than 25||1 small kit|
|Low risk||25-100||1 medium kit|
|Low risk||100+||1 large kit per 100 employees|
|High risk||5-25||1 medium kit|
|High risk||25+||1 large kit per 25 employees|
Low-risk workplace environments: This includes offices, conference rooms, libraries and schools.
High-risk workplace environments: This includes warehouses, construction sites and manufacturing companies.
5. Complexity of the Workplace Layout
The complexity of the workplace determines the first aid kits you require.
In large buildings, different departments are housed on different floors. Some buildings are complex and need a thorough check on emergency exits.
In such a situation, place the kits in designated areas where workers can access them with ease.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a First Aid Kit
Your work environment can get hectic. There are absent employees, differences in experience and changes in shift patterns. To add to the mix, there are lots of unforeseen circumstances.
A first aid assessment test is important to ensure you leave nothing to chance.
Do not forget other potential factors, such as first aid provisions for:
- Site visitors
- Travelling workers
- Shared occupancy sites
Where Should First Aid Kits Be Located?
Place first aid kits at a position where all employees are able to access them.
For larger and more high-risk organisations, employers should provide a first aid room. Keep all first aid equipment such as portable defibrillators, vehicle kits and eyewash stations here.
Being in charge of the workplace, you should ensure the location is:
- Easily accessible for all employees.
- Supervised by a member of staff.
- Complete with clear signage.
- Connected to a telephone or clear communication channels.
- Always open when people are at work.
- Clean and organised.
- Supplied with water.
- Located close to exit points.
- Check first aid kits for expiry dates.
- Restock the first aid supplies to ensure there is no shortage during emergencies.
- Source first aid kits from reputable companies only.
- Most importantly, remember that kits are not enough while dealing with life-threatening conditions. Be sure to dial 111 in cases of emergency. Contact a first aid officer to track the situation before the emergency team arrives.
Increase Your Workplace Safety with Alsco New Zealand
By now, this article has given you enough insight on work safety. You now know the number of first aid kits you need and factors to consider in making your choices.
Empower your employees early enough so they are ready for any emergency scenario. Stock your workplace with the best range of first aid products from Alsco New Zealand.
By making the above considerations, you will make your workplace a safe haven for you and your employees. How about getting started?