Accidents, sudden illness, and injuries can happen in nearly any workplace. In the United States, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets minimum standards for first-aid kits that all businesses should have on hand to treat minor illnesses or injuries or help stabilize patients suffering from severe problems until professional help arrives.
For a small office or worksite, OSHA requirements mandate that a workplace has the following materials on hand at all times:
- Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
- Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
- A box of adhesive bandages.
- One package gauze roller bandage at least two inches wide.
- Two triangular bandages.
- Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes.
- At least one blanket.
- Adhesive tape.
- Latex gloves.
- Resuscitation equipment such as a resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask.
- Two elastic wraps.
- A splint.
- Directions for requesting emergency assistance via 911 services.
Beyond this baseline, OSHA also requires that other first aid supplies be on hand at every workplace based on the nature of the facility’s industry and the proportional risk level. (Eyewash, for example, in places where caustic chemicals are being used.) At construction sites or manufacturing locations, the extent of the required first aid supplies is much greater than for an office and may extend to trauma pads, defibrillators, tourniquets, and burn care products.
Risks of Non-Compliance with OSHA Standards
Businesses that do not have the required first aid supplies are considered out of OSHA compliance and may be subject to warnings and fines. If your workplace is large, it’s not enough to have a single kit: locating first aid supplies too far from workers may also result in fines.
How Many First Supplies Do We Need?
To remain compliant with OSHA regulations, it’s important to understand the size of the workplace and the number of workers as well as what types of hazard incidents could be reasonably expected to happen in the workplace based on past precedent and industry standards. This will help determine the appropriate supplies that OSHA expects your organization to keep on the premises, how many first aid kids may be needed, and where they should be ideally located.
Since first aid kits are frequently used by employees, particularly for minor illnesses and injuries, it’s important that regular restocking efforts are made.
Have a Professional Risk Assessment Consultation Done
To ensure that your workplace is compliant, it’s worthwhile to have a professional risk assessment done. Unishield has been providing customers with the highest quality first aid restocking service, training and compliance solutions, first aid, safety, and emergency supplies to businesses throughout Southern California since 1996. Respond Systems provides on-site van delivery to many Southern California locations and invites out-of-area companies to contact us through our website, email, or telephone to discuss workplace first aid, safety equipment, or emergency medical supplies and equipment requirements.