What Goes In Workplace First Aid Kits? A Checklist
Well-stocked workplace first aid kits are hidden heroes that we tend to only remember in times of crisis. Otherwise, they’re just hanging out in your workplace cupboards unnoticed.
However, forgetting about your first aid kits and letting them expire or finding yourself out of stock in urgent supplies can put you in hot water when it comes to OSHA and ANSI.
If you’re unfamiliar with what your first-aid cabinets need or even what ANSI and OSHA require you to have on hand, no worries. You’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for the full breakdown of the workplace first aid kits checklist, as well as a quick look at the five major areas of first aid, what OSHA and ANSI stand for, and why it matters to your business.
Workplace First Aid Kits 101: Understanding the Five Major Areas of First Aid
Before taking a deep dive into the first-aid checklist you’ll want to follow, it’s crucial to understand the overarching categories that your first-aid supplies will fall under.
Here are the five major areas of first aid you’ll want to know.
Major Trauma or Injury: Items like gauze pads, tourniquet, scissors, and mouth barrier
Minor Injury: For things like small cuts or scrapes, you’ll want adhesive bandages, cold compress, and antiseptic spray
Eyecare: Refill solution for contacts, eyewash stations
When you’re assembling your first-aid cabinets based on the checklists below, make sure they address every single category.
What Are OSHA and ANSI?
In the simplest of terms, The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) sets the requirements and standards, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is a federal agency as well, is responsible for enforcing the standards and making sure that businesses comply.
All you need to know is that ANSI standards become required only when they’re adopted by OSHA. So while OSHA will usually refer employers to ANSI Z308.1 as their main source of guidance on the minimum requirements for first-aid kits, they haven’t actually adopted the standard.
The Complete ANSI First-Aid Cabinet Checklists
After an ANSI review conducted in 2015, they’ve updated their recommended first-aid supplies. This is based on a review of increased workplace incidents that required specific first-aid treatment, equivalent international standards, as well as the current practices in treating injuries.
Before looking at the checklist, a gentle reminder that there’s no need for you to feel overwhelmed. You can get all of those first aid supplies online.
For now, on with the show. There are two ANSI lists, which are known as Class A and Class B lists. Thankfully, you can select one of the classes, instead of getting all of the items listed for both of them.
You can decide which class is more suitable for your workplace depending on the following factors:
Physical nature and layout of the work environment
Probability of severity and likelihood of injury occurrence
Whether multiple first aid kits are needed based on the number of employees
Whether your work site is remote and far away from emergency services
After making an honest evaluation of the nature of your workplace, you’ll be able to pick the appropriate class. For now, let’s delve into the checklist for Class A.
Class A Checklist
Generally speaking, the Class A items are recommended for common workplace injuries that are minor in nature. For example, employees getting minor abrasions, cuts, or sprains. The typical industries that fall under Class A are office settings, warehouses, light assembly, or packaging.
Moreover, you’ll want to ensure that there are a surplus and extras available in your cabinet, and here’s why. If the requirement asks for 1 eyewash solution, and it’s either been used, expired, or tampered with, then you’re in non-compliance with your cabinet.
So, unless you’re planning on monitoring your first-aid cabinets daily, you’ll want to stock them with more than an adequate supply of the required amount. This way, if an item (or two) have been used, you’re still in compliance and on the safe side until your regularly scheduled restocking happens.
The Class A Minimum Requirements for First-Aid Kits:
The same caution about the checklist items’ quantities also applies to Class B cabinets. Therefore, make sure you’re getting extra.
Ready to Fill Your First-Aid Cabinets?
We know that it can be a bit too much of an information dump, especially for small business owners, or startups. However, we hope our little guide into the essential workplace first aid kits required for your business to have on hand to comply with was helpful.
Now, all you need to do is get an online order in, and you’re good to go.