"How To Restock Your First Aid Kit" is the last of a three part series showing you how to inspect, sanitize and restock your first aid kit. In this article, we use a standard 4 shelf industrial first aid kit
as an example but the principles can be applied to any first aid kit. See our "How To
" section for more articles.
In this article, we cover how to determine what supplies you need, how to create a checklist and how to set up regular inspections.
1. How do I determine what first aid supplies I need for my kit?
This is usually the most difficult part for most people but in fact is pretty easy. We can figure this out by taking a minute understanding the purpose of your kit, what potential injuries can occur and the OSHA requirements for your workplace (if applicable).Purpose and Use of your first aid kit
This is easy. The purpose of any first aid kit is to treat minor cuts, scrapes, burns and other types of injuries. In the workplace, it is not only meant to help the employee, but also to keep them productive on the job. The kit is not to be a first responder/EMT bag. It is for basic first aid that employee╒s can access. All of the supplies maintained in the first aid cabinet are common sense supplies that everyone is familiar how to use.Identifying Potential injuries.
Carefully look at the past injuries you have treated. This will help determine they types of first aid supplies you will want to have available for use. Do you have cuts and scrapes? If yes then include a variety of bandages and gauze. Are you experiencing dust and particles in eyes? If yes, consider including eyewash in your kit. Also, look at the environment you are in. Are you stocking a first aid kit for a sheet metal cutting operation? If so, MORE bandages, gauze and blood pressure bandages should be included than normal. If there is welding or any type of heat then additional burn gel should be stocked. Flying particles, dust or chemicals would require you to keep more eye wash type products. Woodcutting would demand splinter tools and bandages. If this is for a home, simply consider how many bandages, gauze and burns you have treated in the past year or two. Plan for any potential injury by having supplies ready. So, if you have never had someone severely cut, that does not mean you don't need a pressure bandage. Always keep basic first aid supplies on hand for any potential injury.OSHA / ANSI requirements
If the first aid kit is for a workplace, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has requirements for first aid supplies at work. Generally speaking, if your business is in near proximity to a medical facility (10 minutes) you might not be required to have a first aid kit. BUT, it is common sense for every workplace to be prepared and have a basic first aid kit at a minimum, a first aid kit that will help treat minor cuts, crapes or burns. Why pay money to send your employee off property to a clinic for a bandage? OSHA expects that workplace first aid kits are to maintain or exceed the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard. Most likely, your idea of a basic first aid kit will contain much more than the ANSI minimum requirements.
If you keep a record of your injuries, this can be very helpful in understanding the types of common injuries that occur. Under OSHA's new record keeping regulations, record keeping is not required for minor injuries or use of the first aid cabinet unless it causes time off work or the injury is treated off site at a medical facility.
The ANSI requirement offers a great starting point for any first aid kit. The ANSI Z308.1=2009 minimum required items are:
- (1) First Aid Guide
- (1) Absorbent Compress 4ΓÇ│ X 8ΓÇ│ minimum
- (16) 1 X 3 Adhesive Bandages
- (1) Adhesive Tape 2.5 yard roll
- (10) Antiseptic Treatment Applications 0.9 Gram each
- (6) Burn Treatment Applications 0.9 Gram each
- (4) 3ΓÇ│ X 3ΓÇ│ Sterile Gauze Pads
- (2) Pair Medical Exam Gloves
- (1) Triangular Bandage 40ΓÇ│ X 40ΓÇ│ X 56ΓÇ│ min
- (6) Antibiotic Ointment Applications 0.5 Gram each.
There are also now ten items listed as Recommended Supplies including:
- Analgesic (oral, non-drowsy formula)
- Bandage Compress, 2ΓÇ│ X 2ΓÇ│ min.
- Breathing Barrier, single use
- Burn Dressing, 12 square inches
- Cold Pack 4 X 5 min.
- Eye Covering 1/4 thick min.
- Eye/Face Wash Sterile 4 oz. min.
- Roller Bandage 2 X 4 yards min.
- Hand Sanitizer
So, to answer the question, "how do I know what supplies I need?", you need to know the purpose of your first aid kit, identify your potential injuries and also be sure to include ANSI required items. Once you have a list, we can move onto the second step in refilling and restocking your first aid kit. 2. Create a Checklist
Based on step 1, you should create and keep a first aid checklist. If you need help, we have 4 different resources for you to check your first aid kit supplies.Build-A-Kit
- Create your own custom printable checklist at our website. You can select the container, supplies and even give them a name. The list can be saved for quick and easy reorderingMy Item List
- On the MFASCO website, search for each item you want to keep in your kit and add it to your "My Item List". When you need to reorder, simply go to the "My Item List" page and print your list. Check your cabinet and mark off the items you need.RestockKit
- This is a simple graphical checklist. MFASCO Health & Safety has several checklists already made and ready to use for each of the industrial first aid kit types (2-5 shelf). Our RestockKit program uses a simple graphical checklist that will help you remember where each item is placed. When it is time to order, simply print off a checklist, check the cabinet and then place your order here at MFASCO. If you have your own custom list several easy ways to create a checklist and methods to set-up regular inspections. See a helpful "how to use ReStockKit
" video here
Refill This Kit Now - We offer a complete line of industrial first aid kits
. Each of these kits and many of the other first aid kits we offer include a great refill option. Go to any product detail page for one of these kits and look to the right of the description tab to find the "Refill This Kit" tab. See the example picture here. 3. Restock & Refill
Once you have a checklist, go to your cabinet, compare your list to what you currently have in your kit. By this time the only thing in your cabinet should be good usable inventory. Anything old, partially used, expired etc.. should be thrown away. See our article on how to inspect your first aid cabinet.
Order Supplies Based on Usage
It is important you remember to plan for usage between now and the next time you inspect your kit. If you go through a lot of bandage strips, be sure to order enough to last you until the next time you order. Also, if you have 1/2 a box or less left, consider ordering another box. When you stock your kit you will combine the two boxes together. Most boxes of bandages, ointments and medicines are designed to have extra space to combine a new box with some left over product. We will talk about mixing expiration dates in a moment. Complete your checklist and order your items.
Organize Your Cabinet
After you have placed your order and it arrives, it is time to restock your cabinet. Use the graphical checklist if you forget where things belong. Also remember to group your products by type and keep it consistent. This is the time to place the items where they belong, every time you replenish. If you are combining a new box with a partially empty one, inspect the expiration dates (if applicable) and be sure to place the older stock in front where it will get used first. For medicines, place then close to the drawer flap where people reach for them first.
Now that your first aid cabinet is setup, the key is to maintain it. We have an automated reminder system that will email you when it is time to check your first aid supplies. You can find at any of our first aid kit restocking areas of our site including Build-A-Kit, RestockKit and My Item List. We have also included the reminder option on any first aid kit that offers a refill list. Look for the "Refill This Kit" option below the description on the product page.