There will probably come a time when you’ll need a first-aid kit, whether to help in an emergency situation or to grab something as simple as Tums when you have a stomachache. Having a first-aid kit, especially at work, and knowing how to use the items inside is very important and can help during scary situations. Time is of the essence in emergency situations, so if you don’t know where your office keeps it, make sure you find out.
A first-aid kit is a collection of items that includes over-the-counter medication, health and medical supplies, and other tools that might be needed to treat someone experiencing a medical emergency. First-aid kits can be very helpful and beneficial to have on hand, especially at work where accidents can happen. They can frequently be found in homes, vehicles, offices, hospitals, classrooms, and other types of high-traffic places that encounter people coming and going.
If you couldn’t guess, having a first-aid kit in the office can pose many benefits, especially when the unexpected happens. For the most part, no one wants to use their first-aid kit, but when the need for it arises, you’ll be thankful for it. Here are some of the benefits that come with having a first aid kit available at the office or workplace:
- It can help boost confidence during an emergency: Training employees to know the basics might make them feel more comfortable and confident during an emergency or when an accident happens. The more exposure to first-aid kit supplies a person has, the more confidence they have when helping in an emergency. And even though John from finance can’t add “medical personnel” to his resume, he can accept applause and gratitude from his co-workers for helping during an emergency situation.
- It can provide education: Employees can become more educated on how to treat certain injuries and illnesses by offering frequent training on what to do during an emergency. Allowing employees to further their education to help during an emergency can be a huge benefit just in case anything severe happens during work hours. It can also be of help outside of work – benefits all around.
- It can keep people feeling safe: Knowing that there is a first-aid kit available at work in case an emergency happens might make people feel safer. Giving peace of mind to employees (especially the accident-prone ones) is important because if an emergency or accident occurs, they know that supplies are nearby to help. Phew!
- It can reduce the number of accidents and injuries: While workplace injuries can occur, fewer accidents may happen after people become aware of how to treat them and how to avoid them. Becoming more conscious of what can happen in an office or workplace can lead to fewer accidents. Don’t run with scissors!
- Everything you need in one place: Having many different products and supplies in one compartment can be beneficial if an emergency happens. It can be easier to help out in an emergency when all of the supplies that you need are organized and labeled in the kit. P.S. use a label maker to clearly label everything to save time during an emergency.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper, because you are going to want to make a list of the items that should be in a first-aid kit so you can stock up! Even though most first-aid kits tend to be small in size, there are so many different items and products that can be kept inside. From different kinds of medication, tools to administer medication, and supplies like scissors, gauze, and ice packs, there can be a lot of items. Here is a general list first-aid of supplies broken down into categories:
- Aloe-vera gel
- Calamine lotion
- Cold medicine
- Cough medicine
- Eczema lotion
- Other non-refrigerated medications
- Antibiotic ointment
- Bandages in multiple sizes
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Ice packs
- Medical tape
- Wound wrapping bandages
- Bug Spray
- Cell phone charger
- Finger splints
Other Useful Items:
- Cotton balls or cotton pads
- Disposable gloves
- Duct tape
- Hand sanitizer
- Super glue
The items included in a first-aid kit can vary depending on the industry. Injuries or accidents can be more or less likely to happen depending on the line of work and based on the kind of work that is done. A traditional office where people work on computers all day might experience fewer injuries or emergencies compared to somewhere like a school where children are present. Similarly, a construction site might experience more accidents due to the nature of the work, meaning that first-aid kits might look a little different across work environments. Although accidents and injuries are bound to happen in any type of workplace, it’s important to be prepared and have everything you might need, just in case.
The items inside a first-aid kit can also vary depending on the work environment, as well as the type of weather the company experiences most often. Based on what tasks are involved in each industry of work, some first-aid kits can have more or less of some items. For example, a construction or landscaping company might have more bandages, wound care items, sunscreen, and ice packs in their first-aid kits. This might be because most of the work they do can be considered more dangerous, which makes them more prone to injuries. They can also be known to work outside in harsh weather conditions more frequently compared to office workers, teachers, or others who work inside a building.
If you haven’t heard of OSHA, it stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is a government organization within the Department of Labor that has requirements when it comes to first-aid kits in the workplace. Here is the list of items that OSHA requires to be in a first-aid kit for a small work site, consisting of 2-3 employees:
- 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 agents 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.
Workplaces with more than 2-3 employees should adjust their first-aid kit supply to account for the number of people there are at the worksite. Your company or business can add additional items, but the OSHA-approved first-aid kit of 2023 consists of these particular products. If your workplace has to follow OSHA-related guidelines, be sure to check the first-aid kit requirements, as they can update from time to time.
At the end of the day, first-aid kits are very beneficial and important to have nearby, especially at work or on job sites. Accidents and emergencies are bound to happen, so it can be essential that you are well-prepared and know what to do during an emergency situation. There can be many different types of supplies in your first-aid kits such as medications, emergency supplies, wound care items, and other miscellaneous things. Stock your workplace or office’s first-aid kit with quality items that will be helpful during an emergency.
Cleveland Clinic. Here’s What Should Be in a First-Aid Kit. (https://health.clevelandclinic.org/heres-what-should-be-in-a-first-aid-kit/) Accessed February 23, 2023.
Mayo Clinic. First-aid kits: Stock supplies that can save lives. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-kits/basics/art-20056673) Accessed February 23, 2023.
Singapore First Aid Training Centre. 10 Benefits of First Aid in the Workplace. (https://www.firstaidtraining.com.sg/10-benefits-of-first-aid-in-the-workplace) Accessed February 24, 2023.
United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.266AppA) Accessed February 24, 2023.