What's inside a first aid kit?

First aid kits are mandatory in every workplace from offices and warehouses to outdoor occupations. You never know when an accident will strike, which is why these nifty kits exist.

The absolute minimum requirement for first aid kits kept in the workplace are classified into two different sizes according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). These Class A and B Kits are chosen by the employer depending on the type of working environment. In places that have a lower risk environment and less employees the basic Class A Kit is recommended, while places that have more employees as well as higher/more dangerous working conditions should use the Class B Kit. These minimums are required to ensure that the appropriate amount of supplies are stocked to give employees the resources they need in case of an emergency before a first response team can reach them.

ANSI table for first aid kits

OSHA First Aid Kit Requirements

OSHA doesn’t specify strict guidelines on what exactly these first aid kits should contain outside of the minimum because there are numerous different working environments with varying needs. Instead, OSHA stands by the best practices guide for a workplace first-aid program in which there is one designated person trained in first-aid. The employee trained to respond to these incidents is responsible for selecting the medical supplies that are needed beyond the minimum requirements.

It is also worthy to note that OSHA’s first aid training guidelines are very broad. Rather than having specific classes and certifications required, the kinds of training needed for specific occupations like logging operations, shipyard occupations, construction, etc. are listed due to their job-specific and high-risk environments.

However, the following guidelines are the rules that every employer must comply with.

In CFR 29 §1910.151 it states the following:

  • The employer must have readily available first aid consultants within the workplace.
  • If there is no access to an on-site infirmary, then there must be first aid trained employees on site and adequate first aid supplies must be available for use.
  • Eye and body flush stations should be readily available for emergencies involving dangerous chemicals.

It is recommended in areas with unique working dangers that the company should receive advice from the local fire and rescue department, a medical professional, or local emergency room for extra first aid kit necessities. And lastly, it is expected that with changing first-aid needs, the trained employee will update the contents of the first aid kit and maintain the supplies already existing in the kit due to expiration dates and varying use.

Another thing that is good to remember is that in the event of an injury, employers are required to fill out OSHA 300, 300a, and 301 logs unless they are exempt and display them in a visible area, perhaps near the first aid kit, for example. They must be posted every year between February 1st and April 30th. This paperwork is beneficial for keeping records of work-related injuries and illnesses to then be able to see what new kinds of safety measures that need to be implemented. This will overall improve the safety of employees overall.


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