Approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2016. Accidents at work happen, and many of them cause injuries that require medical attention. It’s important for businesses to be prepared for these accidents, and to be certain their workplace first aid kits are properly stocked.
But what does “properly stocked” mean?
Businesses may be unaware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces specific standards and regulations of the minimally acceptable first aid supplies required for workplace first aid kits. If your business fails to meet these standards the safety of your employees is at risk and your organization is failing to meet government regulations. Here’s what you need to know so your business can meet regulations and keep employees safe.
Minimally acceptable first aid supplies for your business’s first aid kit
Below is OSHA’s list of minimally acceptable first aid supplies and quantities. Make sure your business has at minimum, these items in your workplace first aid kit.
- Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
- Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
- Box adhesive bandages (band-aids).
- One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 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 resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask.
- Two elastic wraps.
- Directions for requesting emergency assistance.
This list of first aid supplies is only sufficient for small workplaces with two to three employees. OSHA states that businesses with larger operations and more employees require additional first aid kits and supplies. But what quantity of supplies do you need in order to meet OSHA standards?
Review your OSHA 300 logs of injuries and illnesses
If your business has over three employees, to understand how many first aid supplies you need, check your OSHA logs and reports. In order for your business to meet OSHA standards, you must keep a record of all occupational injuries and illnesses that occur within your workplace on your OSHA 300 logs and 301 incident reports. To see if your business is exempt from keeping these reports, check OSHA’s list of exempt organizations and industries.
Your 300 logs and reports will help you assess the risks of injuries specific to your business. Review the numbers and adjust the quantities of your workplace first aid kits and supplies accordingly. If you need help, check our ANSI compliance worksheet here or call us and we’ll advise you on which supplies you need.
If you want to keep your employees safe and be certain your business is OSHA compliant, make sure your business’ first aid kit meets these minimal requirements and regulations.