No matter the workplace or the type of industry, on-the-job illnesses and injuries will occur. In cases of manufacturing or other businesses that use machinery, the likelihood of injuries – sometimes serious ones – is high. For this reason, it’s critical that workplaces maintain at least a baseline of first-aid equipment that is suited to their operations. In some cases, maintaining a properly stocked first aid kid is not just a good idea, but a matter of the law. There are numerous local and state requirements mandating first aid supplies in the workplace, and companies that fail to do so could be risking regulatory fines or lawsuits.
In this blog, we will outline the most critical regulatory rules that address the maintenance of a properly stocked first-aid kid in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires employers to comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards and regulations as issued and enforced by either the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or an OSHA-approved state plan.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSH regulations mandate that workplace first-aid kits be present and contain the following (at a minimum).
- Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
- Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
- A box of adhesive bandages.
- One package gauze roller bandage at least two inches wide.
- Two triangular bandages.
- Wound cleaning agents such as sealed moistened towelettes.
- At least one blanket.
- Adhesive tape.
- Latex gloves.
- Resuscitation equipment such as a resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask.
- Two elastic wraps.
- Directions for requesting emergency assistance.
The OSHA standards note that the contents of the first-aid kit should be adequate for small work sites, consisting of approximately two to three employees. When larger operations or multiple operations are being conducted at the same location, additional first-aid kits should be provided at the work site or additional quantities of supplies should be included in the first-aid kits.
In addition, the OSH standards require trained first-aid providers at all workplaces of any size if there is no “infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees.” This puts the onus on employers in remote locations to have trained safety and first-aid personnel on-site at all times.
To help employers remain compliant with all first aid best practices, OSHA has published a guide entitled, “Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program.” The advisory guide is intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace.
In addition to federal rules, most states and many localities also maintain workplace safety rules (most of them are in line with OSHA guidelines) that companies should understand and absorb into their workplace safety programs.
Workplace Safety Consultants Help with First Aid Compliance
Workplace safety consultants are experts in implementing programs that will help protect employees from injuries and workplaces from liability. These consultants can help train your personnel in safety processes and compliance, and help you build an enforcement program and a tracking program for any injuries that do occur during working hours. In Southern California, Unishield has been providing businesses with the highest quality workplace safety training and compliance solutions for employers.
Shop 1staidsupplies.com for first aid kits and medical supplies, industrial safety equipment, and portable emergency medical equipment such as the lifesaving AED (automatic external defibrillator).