Accidents happen everywhere. And with people spending the majority of their waking hours at work, it is no surprise that many of these happen in the office. Common injuries in the office include falls, the most often reported workplace injury. People fall by tripping over boxes or wires, slipping on wet floors, or by standing on a chair instead of a ladder to reach something. The next most likely injuries are hitting or getting hit by an object and straining your back, neck, or shoulders with improper lifting.
First Aid Kit Storage
The first task in creating an office first aid kit is finding a proper container and storage location for the kit. You may either buy an already-completed first aid kit or purchase a container and create your own. A sealable plastic container will work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that the first aid kits must be properly stocked and refilled, accessible to all who work there, and stored in a safe location. OSHA's requirements mean that you must place the first aid kit in a central location, behind no locks or barriers.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is crucial for a well-stocked first aid kit. It is easy to forget this, but often when a worker is injured, it is someone else who is applying the bandage or proper treatment to him or her. In order to prevent exposure to blood or other infectious materials, OSHA requires PPE. First aid kits must have at least disposable medical gloves (preferably non-latex), a CPR barrier, safety glasses, and a mask. This will ensure that no helpful employee become subject to danger while applying first aid.
First Aid Kit Contents
The final necessity for the first aid kit is, of course, the contents. OSHA requires the following items as a minimum:
- Absorbent compress, 32 sq. in. (81.3 sq. cm.) with no side smaller than 4 in. (10 cm) (Quant. 1)
- Adhesive bandages, 1 in. x 3 in. (2.5 cm x 7.5 cm) (Quant. 16)
- Adhesive tape, 5 yd. (457.2 cm) total (Quant. 1)
- Antiseptic, 0.5g (0.14 fl oz.) applications (Quant. 10)
- Burn treatment, 0.5 g (0.14 fl. oz.) applications (Quant. 6)
- Hypoallergenic medical exam gloves (2 pairs)
- Sterile pads, 3 in. x 3 in. (7.5 x 7.5 cm) (Quant. 4)
- Triangular bandage, 40 in. x 40 in. x 56 in. (101 cmx 101 cm x 142 cm) (Quant. 1)
Employers can also include over-the-counter medicine, such as Tums or pain relievers, if they desire. These could help improve workplace productivity as they will treat minor medical problems that are generally disruptive to work flow. Other helpful items can include instant ice packs, emergency phone numbers and first aid guides, and small bandages for paper cuts. One or more people trained in basic first aid is also highly beneficial to any workplace. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make sure to stock your office with a first aid kit today!