Everyone deserves to work in a safe environment, and while most take every measure possible to prevent injuries, unfortunately, workplace accidents still occur. First aids kits are a standard requirement for most industries and statutory Government agency, SafeWork Australia has made it mandatory for workers to be able to access a first aid kit in the workplace. In this post, we’ll share the essential items that should be in every workplace first aid kit.

Determine the workplace requirements

Every workplace is different, and the first aid measures will vary from business to business. It’s important that you know what your first aid expectations are and that they are met. Generally, the more potential hazards your workplace has, the more extensive your first aid measures will need to be. A first aid risk assessment should be carried out. Areas you should be looking at are:

  • Hazards
  • The size
  • The location

You need to minimize workplace risks, and the first aid strategies you implement should reflect the hazards, the size of the workplace and where it is located.

Workplace First Aid Essentials

While the first aid needs of a workplace will vary greatly depending on the factors mentioned above, there are some essential items that all workplace first aid kits should contain.

The size of your first aid supplies Australia and the quantities of first aid items you’ll need should be based on how employees are in the workplace. You want to be sure that your first aid kits are catering to your workplace and the number of people that may need them. Having a small first kit for a large number of people isn’t going to be sufficient, you’ll have to replace items constantly, and it is not safe. A first aid kit must contain basic items to help treat workplace injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Cuts and wounds
  • Muscle sprains, and strains
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Removing splinters and debris from the skin
  • Foreign objects such as dirt in the eyes
  • Control bleeding
  • Abrasions and punctures
  • Shock
  • Cleaning and covering wounds, cuts, abrasions, and punctures
  • Spider and snake bites

Your first kit should be easily accessible and immediately identifiable to all staff members. Everyone in the workplace should have a clear understanding of where the first kits are located. The kit should be labelled with a large white cross on either a red or green background and the words ‘FIRST AID’ should be clearly legible. Your kit needs to be of high quality to ensure it protects the contents inside from external damage such as dirt and moisture. As outlined by SafeWork Australia, your workplace first aid kits should contain the following as a minimum:

  • An instruction booklet, a notepad and a pen
  • Saline solution
  • Disposable gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Adhesive plasters
  • Medical grade tweezers
  • Single-use splinter removers
  • Gauze in several sizes
  • Bandages, both elastic and no-stretch in various sizes and styles
  • Dressing pads
  • Antiseptic cream/lotion
  • Hypoallergic adhesive tape
  • Eye pads
  • CPR face shield
  • Safety pins
  • Rescue blanket
  • SAM splint
  • Instant cold and heat packs
  • Antiseptic wipes

The higher risk that a workplace has for certain injuries, their first aid contents need to reflect that. For example, those who work with abrasive chemicals should have additional equipment such as an eye wash station, extra eye pads, etc.

If you are unsure of what first aid measures your workplace requires, you should head to the SafeWork website for further direction.

Along with providing a first aid kit, you must provide access to first aid training and trained first aid people at all times, no matter the time, day or location of the shift.

Trained first aiders in the workplace

It is always a good thing to have a first aid kit in the workplace but the more people that know how to use it, the better. Some industries mandate first aid training as a requirement of the role however, not all industries do. Workplace first aiders can be either staff that work for the company or other trained people.

First aiders in the workplace should have the following:

  • A nationally recognized certificate of attainment in first aid training
  • They should complete regular training to update their skills and knowledge in first aid and to ensure their certificate is current and up to date

Additional training may be required for first aiders who:

  • Work in an isolated or remote location
  • There are psychological risks in the workplace
  • Employees have existing medical conditions
  • Children are in the workplace

How many first aiders does your workplace need?

SafeWork Australia stipulates that:

  • Low-risk workplaces should have one first aider for every 50 employees
  • High-risk workplaces should have one first aider for every 25 workers
  • Remote high-risk workplaces should have one first aider for every 10 workers

First aiders in the workplace should be easy to identify and find. Some ways you could do this is by having the first aider wear a high visibility vest or display a contact number.

An additional beneficial but not necessary piece of first aid equipment that all business owners should consider is a defibrillator. Cardiac arrest can be fatal if CPR intervention isn’t started within the first few minutes. Having a defibrillator onsite can save someone’s life. Along with learning first aid in the workplace, it is highly advantageous that employees learn CPR. CPR training includes learning how to use a defibrillator proficiently. Both first aid training and CPR can be completed in one day if you choose to do both.

Does your workplace have everything it needs to administer appropriate first aid?

The contents of a first aid kit in a high-risk setting such as a mine will differ greatly from a low-risk setting such as an office, so it is important to know what is required of your workplace based on the size, location, the number of employees, and the risk.

For all your workplace supplies and kits, head to The First Aid Shop! We have everything you could ever need for a workplace, ensuring that you and your employees can be treated effectively if an injury were to occur. Prompt and correct first aid administration can improve health outcomes and in more serious instances, potentially save a life.

Reference: First aid | Safe Work Australia