Basic First-Aid Kits Often Inadequate
First-aid in the workplace is not only a good idea–it’s a requirement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But many workplaces lack even a basic first aid kit, much less the kind of equipment that could save a life. A well-stocked first-aid kit in the workplace should include an assortment of supplies–and there should be someone on hand who knows how to use them.
The Health Alliance recommends:
- Absorbent gauze to clean wounds or apply antiseptics.
- Adhesive bandages of various sizes and shapes.
- Adhesive tape for securing wound dressings or adding protection over wounds.
- Antiseptic cream, to apply after cleansing a wound.
- Antiseptic soap/spray or pads for cleaning skin or wounds.
- Antacid tablets for indigestion and heart burn.
- Burn gels, pads, or sprays for fast cooling and protection of wounds.
- Compression bandage for applying pressure to large or bleeding wounds.
- Elastic bandages for wrapping sprains and holding dressings or cold packs in place.
- Eyewash for rinsing contaminants from the eye.
- First aid manual to guide emergency care.
- Gauze roll to hold bandages in place prior to taping.
- Instant cold pack to reduce swelling from sprains, fractures or bruises.
- Pain relievers for minor aches and pains.
- Scissors for cutting bandages, etc.
- Tweezers for removing foreign bodies from minor injuries.
- Wound cleanser wipes to clean minor scrapes or cuts before dressing them.
An automatic external cardiac defibrillator for immediate on-site treatment of cardiac arrest should be considered if appropriate.
To protect the first-responder’s own health, CPR mouth barriers and disposable latex gloves (to prevent contact with bodily fluid) and microbial hand wipes should be on hand as well. Knowing what to do in the first minutes of an emergency—and having the right supplies on hand–can make a big difference in the outcome of many workplace accidents.
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