Things to consider when choosing a first aid kit

A suitable, well stocked first aid kit is very important in keeping your workplace prepared once accidents strike. Having first aid medicines and supplies gathered in an easily accessible area will help you cope with emergency at a moment’s notice.

However, choosing the right first aid kit might not be as easy as what you think. And in case you didn’t know, there are various legislative guidelines that you need to consider when preparing a suitable first aid kit for your workplace.

So what needs to be taken into account? What are the basic items you need to include? Where should you place them?

  • Number of employees. The more employees you have, the more first aid kit should be available in your workplace. You must also provide portable first aid kits to field employees or for employees with disabilities.

  • Location of kits. This is where most employers fail. No matter how many or complete your first aid kits are, if they aren’t located in an accessible area, they are of little or no value. Remember that emergency situations are urgent, so you must place them in areas where risk of injury/ accidents is likely to occur. They should be clearly visible so avoid placing them in areas where they are hardly seen.

  • Types of work performed. You must also consider the typical activities performed and try to anticipate the risks/accidents faced by employees. For instance, if your business is using hazardous chemicals, you must provide eyewash kits, burn kits, body fluid spill kits and others.

  • Past injury records. You should also consider past accidents recorded in your workplace so you can choose the right items to include in your first aid kit.

  • Employee Training. First aid training must be included during your orientation for new employees and at regular intervals. You must make them understand who to approach for first aid assistance, what should be done during emergency situations, what medicines are applicable to specific injuries/accidents and where to locate first aid kits.

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