What you have in your first aid kit matters. It’s not a guessing game where you toss in a box of these or a bag of that. That is where a thorough hazard assessment comes in. It’s time to roll on through your worksite to uncover hazards, potential health, and safety concerns. Not only should you have the standard first aid that’s required on your worksite. You should also pay attention to the dangers of the work environment and build your first aid kit around incidents that may happen. For instance, you might need a tourniquet or an oxygen mask if the hazards are there.
If you’re doing proper hazard assessments, engineering out risks when able and outfitting your crew with the right PPE, you hopefully won’t have a need for first aid or emergency treatment. But in the event of an emergency, you’ll be darn sure glad you have it on hand.
The buck doesn’t stop there. Properly stocking first aid supplies is mighty important, too. There’s nothing worse than needing an eyewash bottle to rinse out some foreign matter from your eyes only to find out it hasn’t been replaced with a new one since the last incident. Here’s a hint: If you’re dealing with dangerous materials that could get in your eye, you better have an eyewash station on site!
Sometimes, it’s worth it to treat your first aid kits like they’re disposable. Throw ‘em out and start fresh with a new kit. That way, you’re sure to have the supplies you need when you need them.
Check out this chart from First Aid Only on how minimum quantities in Class A Kits and Class B Kits have changed since the first aid standard was updated to ANSI Standard Z308.1-2015. Otherwise, scoot on down the page for a quick look at what you need to stock in your first aid kits.
Don’t Forget OSHA Training Recommendations!
OSHA requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace. In the event an injury or illness happens, you’re also required to provide medical and first aid treatment. But who are you going to trust to administer that potentially lifesaving treatment? Well, that’s where training comes in. Training can also help you satisfy OSHA’s workplace general first aid requirements in 29 CFR 1910.151.
Your crew should be trained on how to administer first aid options based on the unique risks they face. That means no one-size-fits-all crash course on first aid is good enough. Be sure to assign and train first aid providers on your team. Schedule periodic trainings and refresher courses on using first aid supplies, applying CPR and using equipment like external defibrillators. Designate a point person or team who can help assess a victim’s need for first aid. Keep your first aid kits marked, labeled and in their designated spots. That way, in the midst of chaos and confusion, everyone knows where to find the supplies they need. In an emergency, common sense can go out the window. It’s better to be prepared from the start than to have regrets at the end.
Seconds count in an emergency. Give your employees a fighting chance with these first aid best practices. As always if you need help, just ask. The pros at Quad City Safety are here to help, no matter what.
Safety: It’s Your Life, It’s Our Business