Complete First Aid Kit Checklist for the Workplace

first aid kit checklist for workplace

Many workplace accidents can be dealt with quickly and effectively simply by having an appropriate, well-stocked first aid kit on hand. Having the right first aid equipment and training can mean the difference between a few stitches and the loss of consciousness—or a simple sprain and a chronic injury. 

If you are an employer or the designated first aid representative for your workplace, keeping a complete first aid kit checklist for your workplace will ensure injuries can always be managed promptly.

Workplace First Aid Kit Checklist: Basic Items

 

OSHA standard 1910.266 App A, entitled “First Aid Kits (Mandatory)” outlines the basic first aid kit requirements for small workplaces with two or three employees. To cater to the needs of their staff, larger operations should have more workplace first aid kits and larger quantities of the first aid supplies listed:

  1. Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches)
  2. Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches)
  3. Box adhesive bandages (Band-Aids)
  4. One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide
  5. Two triangular bandages
  6. Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes
  7. Scissors
  8. At least one blanket
  9. Tweezers
  10. Adhesive tape
  11. Latex gloves
  12. Resuscitation equipment such as a resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask
  13. Two elastic wraps
  14. Splint
  15. Directions for requesting emergency assistance

[59 FR 51672, Oct. 12, 1994; 60 FR 47022, Sept. 8, 1995]

Specific First Aid Kit Suggestions

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s list is a minimal list for workplace first aid kits. However, certain industries can develop specific first aid kits based on a thorough risk assessment of the workplace.

Wound Care

Industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, and nursing have a higher-than-average risk of cuts due to the use of sharp equipment (slicing machinery, sickles, knives, and needles, respectively). Veterinarians and others who work with animals are also at risk of bites. Workplaces that use sharp equipment or carry a risk of bites should consider having bleeding control kits located throughout each facility.

First aid kit checklist:

Bumps, Bruises, Strains, and Sprains

Bumps, bruises, strains, and sprains are daily risks for the construction, agriculture, sports, and recreation industries. Along with the basic first aid kit materials, these workplaces should have several instant cold packs available to workers. Remember to always cover a cold pack or ice pack with a cloth or sleeve.

First aid kit checklist:

  • Cold pack

Eye Care

Workplaces that use corrosive chemicals are at an elevated risk of serious eye injuries and burns. These workplaces must install emergency drenching or flushing stations and should make saline eye drops readily available to workers.

First aid kit checklist:

  • Saline eye wash/drops

Skin Care

People who work with potential irritants may need first aid to deal with severe itching or irritation of the skin. Hydrocortisone cream is a useful topical medicine to have on hand if skin irritation is likely to occur.

First aid kit checklist:

  • Hydrocortisone cream

Burns

Professionals who work in close proximity to hot substances and surfaces (such as baristas, metal smelters, and mechanics) have a fairly high chance of burns. Consider including the following in your workplace first aid kit:

  • Plastic cling wrap
  • Burn dressings (such as Water-Jel)
  • Bacitracin antibiotic ointment

Other Items

In addition to the first aid items themselves, it can be helpful to include a few other practical items in the kit:

  • Light source (such as a flashlight)
  • Thermometer
  • Safety pins
  • Non-latex gloves (such as nitrile gloves)
  • Sharpie
  • Accident reporting card
  • Quick-reference guide to first aid and CPR
  • Over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, paracetamol, antihistamine, and ibuprofen

Please note that all of the items in your workplace first aid kit should be checked on a regular basis and replaced when they are used or reach their expiry date.

Automated External Defibrillators

Certain institutions and facilities are required to have at least one automated external defibrillator (AED) in addition to a first aid kit. Depending on the state, these kinds of facilities may include:

  • Fitness facilities
  • Schools and colleges
  • School athletic fields
  • Dental offices that use sedation
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Public buildings
  • Parks

If your facility is required to have an AED, make sure you have an FDA-approved, up-to-date defibrillator located in a visible, known, accessible place, along with an appropriate AED management program that meets your state’s training, oversight, and signage requirements.

 

Employer Responsibilities with Regards to First Aid

 

According to 29 CFR 1910.151, employers must:

  • “Ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health”
  • Ensure that at least one person in the workplace is “adequately trained to render first aid” if there isn’t an infirmary, clinic, or hospital nearby
  • Ensure that “adequate first aid supplies [are] readily available”
  • Ensure that people who work with corrosive materials have access to “suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body” within the work area

[63 FR 33450, June 18, 1998]

When setting up a workplace first aid program—including first aid kits and regular first aid training for employees—businesses can refer to OSHA’s Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals for First Aid in the Workplace (2006). Businesses should also seek up-to-date guidance from their local fire and rescue department, local OSHA area office, medical professionals, and local first aid training providers as the guidelines often change.

 

First Aid Makes a Difference in Office

 

As mentioned at the start, a fully stocked first aid kit in the workplace—along with regular first aid training for staff—can mean the difference between major, chronic injuries and a short-term scare. Immediate first aid can also have a significant impact on the amount of time workers need to take off and how well they are able to reintegrate into the workplace after recovery. 

In addition to developing a rigorous risk assessment and accident prevention program, using this first aid kit checklist for the workplace to stay on top of OSHA requirements is one of the best things you can do for the safety of your staff and customers as well as the health of your business’s bottom line.

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