First aid kits are a must-have for any workplace regardless of what industry your business operates within. They are necessary so you can treat the various different workplace injuries that can happen on a daily basis.
Injuries can happen at any time and when you least expect them to. When you have a first aid kit that is to access will ensure the safety of everyone. First aid can reduce infections from cuts and grazes. They can also reduce the severity of an injury. It is not always possible to keep your colleagues safe from getting hurt, but first aid kits can help protect them when an incident does occur.
There isn’t a mandatory list of specific items that need to be included in each and every first aid kit. This is more dependent on the nature of the workplace and the size of the business. For example, a residential building site is going to need a much bigger first aid kit that is more specialised to that specific industry than an office environment. Additionally, an office that has multiple floors and more employees is going to need more first kits than a smaller setting with only a few people working in that space. However, regardless of the type of business or the size, there must be an appointed person who is responsibly of the first aid kit(s) to ensure that they are ready to used at anytime or when an incident occurs.
If you are unsure about how to use one, then there as many first aid courses available. In the meantime, this short guide includes the basic items that ever workplace first aid kit should have and what each item can be used for.
- Personal Protective Items
Disposable gloves: Wearing disposable gloves reduces the risk of infection between you and the person you are treating. If they are available in your first aid kit, you should always wear gloves whenever dressing wounds or dealing with any blood or body fluids.
Face shields: These are designed to prevent infection and the spread of disease when you give rescue breaths to someone who is unconsciousness as a result of an accident.
- Triangular and Roller Bandages
Triangular: This type of bandage is a large piece of cloth. You can fold a triangular bandage and use it as either a bandage or sling or as a dressing for a large cut or graze. However, these bandages are most commonly used as slings. A sling can be used to hold a lower arm and hand in an elevated position.
Roller: Appointed first aiders can use a roller bandage to support a joint injury, hold dressings in place, or to put pressure on wounds to stem the flow of bleeding. When using a roller bandage on somebody, the correct application method is crucial to provide them with comfort and to support the affected part of their body.
- Dressings and Plasters
Plasters of all sizes: You can use plasters for minor cuts and grazes. When applying a plaster, make sure that the wound is clean, and the flow of blood has stopped to avoid infection and the plasters falling off within the first minutes after application.
Sterile pads: You can use a sterile pad and hold it in place with tape. Sterile pads are ideal for wound cleaning and dressing changes.
Sterile dressing: A sterile wound dressing is attached to a bandage. These are intended for larger cuts and grazes. By using a sterile dressing, you can apply pressure to help stop the flow of bleeding and is easy to apply when an incident occurs.
- Additional (but very useful) Items
Alcohol-free wipes to clean a wound. This really important as a cut or graze needs to be as clean as possible before applying a plaster. This is to reduce the possibility of infection.
Tape: Tape can come in handy when applying dressings and bandages.
Pins: Having pins in your first aid kit can be super handy when it comes to fastening the loose end of bandages.
A Pair of Scissors: To cut plasters, sterile pads or bandages to the required length/size for comfort. Scissors can also be used if you need to gain access to a wound and cut through the victim’s clothing.
- Don’t Forget!
Don’t forget that items in a first aid kit can carry expiry dates and should be replaced as soon as possible if that date passes. Additionally, if an item in the first aid kit gets used in an incident, you need to let the person who is responsible for the kit know as soon as you can so they can replace that item.