Ensuring First Aid Kits Remain Current with Regulatory Compliance

Regardless of the size of your workplace – from a small office to a large manufacturing floor – chances are good you have some first aid kits at hand in the event of a workplace illness or injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) mandates minimally acceptable numbers and types of first-aid supplies for first-aid kits required in U.S. workplaces. For small workplaces, supplies for wound care, injury, and resuscitation are mandated. For larger employers or those operating machinery, the rules may be more stringent and include supplies for chemical exposure or burns. In addition to simply having the kits, employers are required to update and refresh the supplies regularly and be prepared to demonstrate to OSHA that they are following the rules.

Regularly Update First Aid Kits for Regulatory Compliance

Simply adding a first-aid kit to the workforce isn’t enough to ensure compliance: the kit must be monitored and regularly checked to ensure that the necessary supplies are always present. Employees may regularly “raid” the first aid kit for items like bandages, ointment and aspirin, and without adequate oversight, it may be incomplete when supplies are truly needed in the event of an emergency. 

In addition, many items in the first-aid kit are prone to aging. Medication can expire, and gauze bandage packaging can become brittle and yellow. Items with a screw-on cap like eyewash can leak, and some canisters can rust. Older kits may not be up to date with the rules for single use products and may even contain substances that are no longer recommended for use in treating emergencies, such as Merthiolate. 

For this reason, remaining compliant with OSHA rules often involves regularly scheduled replenishment of the first-aid kit with an emergency supplies company. 

Be Prepared for Safety Audits

A safety audit should be a regularly scheduled event in the workplace to ensure that regulations are being met in the event of an external safety inspection by an organization such as OSHA. (There are significant fines associated with non-compliance in the event of an unsatisfactory audit.) 

An employee should be designated to oversee the first aid kit, inspect it regularly, and order any replacements necessary to ensure that the kit is compliant. 

Form a Relationship with a Workplace Safety Company

It is easier to keep first aid kids properly stocked by contracting with a workplace safety company. In Southern California, Unishield has been providing businesses with the highest quality emergency preparedness, safety training, and compliance solutions for employers. In addition, Unishield offers first aid kits and medical supplies, first aid restocking services, industrial safety equipment, and portable emergency medical equipment such as the lifesaving AED (automatic external defibrillator). 

To be prepared in the event of an emergency, workplace first aid cabinets/kits need to be fully stocked at all times. Unishield brings the supplies needed to treat burns, cuts, wounds, headaches, and bodily spills right to the workplace door. If you’re located in Southern California, contact us and we will ensure your organization never runs low on critical first aid supplies. Stay prepared; stay safe. Call 800-480-5855 or visit our website for more information.


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