Picture these two scenarios at the workplace:
Scenario 1: An accident happens, you know where the first aid kit is. You grab it and are ready to help.
Scenario 2: An accident happens, you do not know if there is a first aid kit on site. After making rounds in the office, you find one. It is missing some essential items.
What situation would you rather be in? Well, neither. Nobody wants to deal with a workplace accident.
Yet, workplace accidents are a common occurrence. They happen not only in industrial sites but also in normal office environments.
Injury claim statistics show an increase in accidents in the workplace.
Business owners can enhance safety by providing first aid kits for the workplace. In case of an accident, a basic first aid kit can make the difference between life and death.
You never know what kind of accidents will come your way. Having a fully stocked first aid kit will help keep you and your team safe.
The kind of first aid kit you choose varies depending on your workplace environment. But, there are various items a basic first aid kit should not miss. These include:
- Dressings: Apply them on the wound to protect injured areas.
- Crepe and roller bandages: These offer light support for sprains and strains.
- Triangular bandages: These can act as slings, towels or tourniquets.
- Sterile Gauze: This is used in the absorption of blood and can be used as a bandage.
- Hypoallergenic tape: Allergen-free adhesion.
- Scissors: Use them for cutting bandages, clothing, etc.
- Safety pins: Use these to hold a bandage or sling in place.
- Disposable gloves: Use the gloves to avoid cross-contamination between the one providing first aid and the patient.
- Eye pads and shield: This cushions and protects the eye from infection.
- Resuscitation mask: Protects the person performing CPR from bodily fluid.
- Saline water: Used to clean wounds.
- Eyewash solution: Rinses the eyes in case of injury.
- Antiseptic solution: Used to clean wounds.
- Torchlight: Provides light in case of a power outage.
- First aid manual: This will help people who may not know how to use the supplies.
First aid kits should be located in a central location where they can be reached by all your employees.
Hire a first aid team who can be available on-site during working hours. Also, offer your employees first aid training. You need to have a team in place who can deal with an emergency situation before the medics arrive.
Maintenance of Your First Aid Kit.
You may have a first aid kit in place, yet there’s one important aspect you must consider.
First aid kits need proper maintenance so that they are ready for use in case of an accident.
Organise the items in your first aid kit to ensure you are not fumbling in panic when an accident happens.
Health and Safety Employment Regulations ask employers to provide first aid facilities. First aid supplies must be:
- Available in sufficient numbers
- Suitable for the intended purpose
- Maintained in good order and condition
- Conveniently placed and accessible to all
Where possible, a room should be set aside for the storage of first aid supplies and equipment. This should be within the main building and it should be accessible to all your employees.
First Aid Kit Maintenance Steps
1. Inspect the First Aid Kit
Oftentimes first aid kits are placed in a shelf or cabinet; a safe space where everyone can reach them.
Some of the items can be removed for usage in case of an accident. In some instances, your employees may forget to put the items back in place.
When inspecting your first aid kits, go back to the storage spaces and check for all first aid kit supplies. Organise them and take stock of any opened or used items. Unused items should be returned to their proper places. This makes it easier to trace them when you need them next time.
When inspecting, also check for the following:
a. Expiry Dates
As you arrange the first aid kits, take a peek at the expiry. Check the expiry dates on each of the items in your first aid kits. Get rid of all expired items and replace them with new ones.
While you reassemble the kits, place the older items in front so they are used first.
b. Damaged or Contaminated Items
Damaged or contaminated items in first aid kits should be disposed of. Any discoloured items or those with torn packaging should be removed.
Note: Most items in first aid kits are single-use items. Once used they should be well disposed of.
c. Review Usage
It is important to take note of the most used items to ensure that they are always replenished in time.
2. Sanitise Your First Aid Kit
In case of an accident, you have no control over who handles the first aid supplies first. It could be one of the injured persons who reaches the kit first, meaning they could cover the kit in blood.
To avoid contamination, always sanitise your first aid kit supplies.
To sanitise your first aid kit:
- Wear protective gloves made of vinyl or latex.
- Clean each shelf at a time.
- Spray and wipe down empty kits with quality disinfectant.
- Sanitise all the items one at a time.
- Return them to their designated kits.
Different surfaces can harbour various germs. Do not forget to disinfect the shelf or cabinet surfaces such as the doors, handles and ledges.
3. Restock the First Aid Kit
First aid supplies need to be replenished to avoid any shortages in times of need.
Keep tabs on the contaminated or expired supplies and replace them with new ones.
Most importantly, keep track of your workplace usage patterns. What items does your workplace use the most? If it is bandage strips, be sure to order more of those. It is better to have too many rather than too few.
Maintaining your workplace first aid kit is time-consuming. Yet, this is a rewarding undertaking every business must consider.
If you are already feeling overwhelmed, do not hesitate to reach out to Alsco today.
We offer first aid kits that are:
- High quality: Each kit is packed with high-grade functional materials.
- Easy to use: They have a colour-coded system to allow you to work efficiently.
- Restocked: Our rental service guarantees quarterly restocking with quality supplies.
- Of a wide variety: We offer a wide array of kits for different needs and industries.
Our team will help you conduct a needs assessment based on your workplace. We also offer a fully managed first aid kit rental service that is cost-effective and legislation compliant.