Many of us spend a significant portion of our day in an office or another business establishment. Therefore, these places must be well-prepared for emergencies. If you’ve never taken a look at your workplace’s first-aid cabinets, make a mental note to do so during your next free time. Check the medicine to see if it is still good and if the bandages are still packaged. If this isn’t the case, it may be time to re-evaluate your company’s emergency response training.
In this article, we discuss guidelines on how to stock a basic first aid kit at work and how you can arm your employees with the right first-aid know-how.
Basic First Aid Situations
Before anything else, it’s crucial to identify the five areas of first aid situations. These are accidents that can be minor or serious but definitely require a quick response. Here’s a list of a few with concrete examples:
- Major injury or trauma: limb fractures, amputation, and deep lacerations
- Minor injury: cuts and bruises
- Eye injury: loss of sight, a caustic foreign substance in the eye
- Employee comfort: allergies, headaches, diarrhoea
- Burn: all degrees need a proper response
Have these five categories in mind when you’re assembling your first aid cabinets.
First Aid Checklist
There is no mandatory list of items that should be included in a first-aid kit. However, it is the employer’s responsibility to assess the safety of their workplace and ensure that the right measures are put into place. Furthermore, first-aid kits should depend on the type of industry the business is in. For instance, a construction site may need a different set of items than a restaurant. A low-risk environment, such as an administrator’s office, requires a specific set of first aid medicines as well.
Another thing to consider is the size of the workplace. How many employees are working at a time? Is it a high-traffic environment? Are you expecting clients to be in and out? One more thing to note is the proximity of your workplace to the nearest medical centre. If it is rather far, you may need to include basic medical equipment and other special supplies.
As a starting point, here’s a checklist of what every first aid cabinet should have, even for low-risk offices:
- A contents list and a leaflet containing medical kit instructions
- Individually wrapped sterile gauze dressings in all sizes
- Individually wrapped sterile triangular bandages
- Safety pins
- Sanitary eye pads, eyewash, and eye bath
- Plasters, crepe-rolled bandages, and wipes
- Adhesive tape
- Disposable gloves
- Distilled water for cleaning wounds
- Tweezers and scissors
Install first aid kits or cabinets in a visible and easily accessible area. Make sure your office assigns a person to be responsible for re-stocking these items. He or she should take note of their expiry dates and proper disposal.
First Aid Courses for Employees
In addition to having a well-stocked first aid kit, it is beneficial to enrol your employees in basic first-aid training. These courses should be conducted periodically to refresh their memories. Your employees should know how to do proper CPR, treat wounds, handle fractures, and respond to any other specific risks that they may encounter in the workplace. These may come in handy during grave emergencies.
Hiring a training company will certainly cost money, but it is good business sense to arm your employees with safety knowledge. Not only does it boost their morale, but it also prevents more significant expenses such as medical bills and lost productivity.
Whether your workplace is a low-hazard or high-hazard environment, all employees face risks every day. Wounds, bleeding, burns, sprains—most of these accidents can be dealt with when you are prepared to handle them.