How to choose a first aid kit for your workplace

Did you know that all employees must have access to a first-aid kit? If your emergency supplies need to be updated or you’re not sure which type of first aid kit you need, Glen Shepherd, Head of Health, Hygiene and Safety at Winc, shares his expert advice on selecting the right first aid kit for your workplace.

According to Safe Work Australia, all workplaces must provide first aid equipment. This means that all workplaces have a legal responsibility for ensuring adequate first aid provisions. It’s important to ensure:

• first aid equipment is provided for the workplace,
• each worker at the workplace has access to the first aid equipment,
• access to facilities for the administration of first aid are provided,
• an adequate number of workers are trained to provide first aid at the workplace or
• workers have access to other people who have been trained to provide first aid treatment1.

What factors should you consider when selecting a first aid kit for your workplace?

Size and location of your workplace

“The ideal first aid kit should be selected based on the number of people it will be used to treat. You’ll need a larger first aid kit with more supplies if there are more people. First aid kits must also be sized appropriately for the people they are intended to serve, such as children, elderly or workers with a disability or known health issue,” says Glen.

The location of your workplace is also important in determining which first aid kit items are required. “Consider how long it takes for emergency services to arrive at your workplace or how far the nearest hospital is. In remote workplaces, common hazards such as eye injuries and breathing infectious materials may require additional medical equipment,” suggests Glen.

“If your workplace is comprehensive, or if work is being done in different areas of the site, it may be necessary to centralise first aid facilities and provide first aid kits in each work area. Portable first aid kits may be required for workers who drive to carry out work offsite as well.”

Type of workplace

According to Glen, when selecting the right first aid kit, certain factors must be considered, one of which is the nature of your work. “Are certain chemicals present in your workplace? Does your work environment deal with flammable liquids? Identifying potential hazards in your specific workplace can assist you in determining what type of kit is appropriate for your workplace,” recommends Glen.

Determining risk level

“A risk assessment should be used to determine the contents of first aid kits. Workers operating machinery and equipment, for example, are more likely to be injured and may require different medical treatment than office workers,” explains Glen.

Glen says, “a good tip is to use your existing safety records to help you decide on first aid kit requirements.”

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