What supplies do I need?
What supplies do I need?
One of the biggest frustrations most workplace first aid programs experience is determining what supplies to keep on hand. OSHA has a very clear and concise document giving us a guide to best practices of a workplace first aid program which includes how to determine what first aid supplies to keep on hand. OSHA wants businesses to have a healthy and safe work environment and this guide will easily walk you through each of the steps. In this second of a five-part series on Workplace First-Aid, we are going to answer the question, "What supplies do I need". But first, we need to ask 4 underlying questions that will ultimately provide our final answer.
A Workplace First-aid program includes identifying the risks
Accidents that cause loss time from work are required to be recorded in an OSHA 300 log. Record keeping is an important part of identifying the risks involved with a particular job. These 300 log documents who was hurt, their job title, the date and where it occurred, and the type of injury they received. Also, supervisors and management should be aware of the non-recordable injuries where a worker uses the first aid kit. Details and the OSHA 300 log can be downloaded here. Reviewing your injury log is the first step in identifying the risks of a particular job process. Once the risks and types of injuries have been identified, keeping adequate supplies that reflect the kinds of injuries that could occur will be much easier.
A Workplace First-aid program focuses on hazard prevention and control to minimize risks
Preventing the injury from occurring is everyone's goal. Management can use the information they collect from a "Job Hazard Analysis" to reduce or eliminate hazards at work. A safer job with fewer injuries will be the result of the action taken to improve the job task and reduce the hazard. This in turn will increase worker productivity, lower workers' compensation costs, and generally provide a safer work environment. The hazard assessment can also be a helpful tool when training new employees about job safety.
A Workplace First-aid program complies with OSHA requirements
Osha states that the supplies must be adequate, should reflect the kinds of injuries that occur, and must be stored in an area where they are readily available for emergency access. Using the OSHA 300 log will also identify the type of injury and how many supplies are being used. An example of minimal contents of a workplace first aid kit is described in the ANSIZ308.1-2003 list. A new revised list is being published in 2015 and will include more items. Currently, we have listed the 2003 ANSI requirements here along with some other examples of a first aid list. Ultimately, the types of injuries will determine what types of supplies you should stock. MFASCO Health & Safety has a great tool to help you create your own first aid checklist. It will identify the minimum requirements and also offer other products you may need based on your needs. See our Build-A-Kit page and watch the 1 minute video for a more clear explanation of this resource.
A Workplace First-aid program states that sufficient supplies be readily accessible
Nothing beats a well-organized and maintained first aid kit that contains items that are easily and quickly identified. Messy, dirty, and overstuffed first aid kits do not promote first aid. Kits that are outdated and sparsely stocked waste time and potentially cause greater harm. Every first aid kit should be clean, organized, safe, and ready to use. OSHA recommends that an employer give a specific person the responsibility for choosing the types and amounts of first-aid supplies and for maintaining those supplies.
Workplace First-aid Restocking Methods
There are several online tools to help you manage, refill, and restock your first aid supplies. Each is designed to ensure OSHA and ANSI compliance. Here are 5 of the best refill systems available:
Make-A-First-Aid-Kit - Whether you want to simply create a checklist for easy reordering or literally build your own first aid kit from scratch, this is the tool for you.
RestockKit- The easiest refill system for workplace first aid kits begins with a picture. This visual refill system lets you "click on the picture" of a first aid kit to select the items you need. You need to see it to believe how easy it is.
Refill This Kit - Find any of our existing first aid kits on our website, click on the "refill this kit" link, and simply order the items you need.
Reorder List- Create a saved list of the items you will be reordering. This is our version of a wish list.
Complete Refill Packs- Many of our first aid kits have a complete refill pack ready to go. Take a look at the current first aid refill's that are available to order.
If you need help or have questions about how to refill your supplies, give us a call at 800-221-9222 or connect with us on chat here on our website.