Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stocking Your Company’s First Aid Kit

Since the early 1990s, when the federal government put laws in place requiring that employers provide first aid supplies to workers in case of an accident or other emergency, most companies have remained more cognizant of their first aid kit's contents.

Whatever the work setting, there is a fair amount of overlap in first aid kits. Most kits include:
-disposable gloves
-pain relieving medications.

Companies should also know that items such as biohazard bags and breathing barriers merit a place alongside the aspirin and cold packs. Items such as safety goggles and breathing barriers for people administering first aid or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) are now commonplace.

Employers must recognize the difference between the work environments of offices, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. At operations where there is a greater risk of losing a limb or suffering a severe cut, first aid protocols must be followed for wound care, preserving the body part and disposing of the materials used to clean up any blood spill.

Biohazard kits—which need to supplement a first-aid kit—typically contain:
-a higher quality pair of gloves
-a body fluid encapsulate
-disposable waste scoops
-a biohazard waste bag
-sanitizing solutions

First aid supplies should be regularly checked and re-stocked to ensure that supplies are in place for when employees use a bandage or take an aspirin in a non-emergency situation. Taking care of minor wounds is important but first aid can also help in more serious situations until the injuries can get professional medical attention.

Also, don't forget to keep a selection of occupational safety products on hand to help prevent minor injuries such as:
-safety glasses
-hard hats
-ear plugs
-work gloves, etc.

When it comes to first aid and other safety training remember Evergreen Safety Council is your place to find the answers. For more infomration on available training visit our website.


  1. Is a container of eye rinse/ wash recommened? I keep some in the first aid kit in my cars trunk. Are there different types of rinse or are they pretty generic? Thanks

  2. First, let me say congrats on attempting to address this issue. It appears you are thinking of an emergency you may "come upon" (you indicated you carried items in your car) rather than something that could be reasonably expected to be encounted on-the-job.

    The L & I core safety rules (WAC 296-800-15030) specify the following:

    Provide an emergency eyewash:
    – When there is potential for an employee’s eyes to be exposed to corrosives,
    strong irritants, or toxic chemicals.
    – That irrigates and flushes both eyes simultaneously while the user holds their
    eyes open.
    – With an on-off valve that activates in one second or less and remains on
    without user assistance until intentionally turned off.
    – That delivers at least 0.4 gallons (1.5 liters) of water per minute for 15 minutes
    or more.

    The last bullet, regarding flow rate & volume, supports the generally accepted emergency protocol of flushing the eyes for a long time with lots of water. (flush from the bridge of the nose - outward) The 15 minutes is a minimum - significantly longer flushing is needed depending on the chemical involved and how it reacts with human tissue. The typical quart or liter sized bottle simply is insufficient to do the job, and should be considered a supplement NOT a substitue for a sink. Yes, it's better than nothing, but that's about all. If the irritant is a piece of "dirt", a qt. may be all that's needed to wash it away, but in the case of chemicals, dilution and flushing is needed. Regarding the actual solution, you must read the labels; it is usually a saline based solution. Clean water works as good or better than anything, and is certainly more readily available. Some commercial mixtures contain ingrediants to provide a measure of "comfort" but getting rid of the irritant is the primary goal.

  3. Thanks for your response Norm. Good info especially on longer rinse/ flush cycles with harsher chemicals. I carry a rather small bottle of flush in the go bag in my car. I think I will add a larger bottle to augment that. As a sidebar I must say that I am always amazed at the number of folks I see pressure washing their driveways not wearing protective eye wear on any given weekend.

  4. Thanks you Companies should also know that items such as biohazard bags and breathing barriers merit a place alongside the aspirin and cold packs.
    thanks a lot blogger for sharing very informative tips.

  5. Thanks for your response Great post

  6. Kits should be stored in a portable, durable, watertight container. Attach the kit to the wall so that it is easily seen and reached in an emergency. Include a list of kit’s contents to ensure it is always fully stocked. Show each worker where the kit is located and what tools it contains. Educate each worker about possible work related injuries and which ones will require immediate medical attention from professionals.

  7. nice post. i always keep first aid kit in my bad whenever i go out of city.


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