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How To Plan the Proper Industrial First Aid Kit
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 1910.151 is the regulation regarding medical intervention in the workplace. It states that if an infirmary, clinic or hospital in close proximity cannot be provided, at least one person should be adequately trained to give first aid. This standard also states that an adequate first aid kit must be provided.
The question now becomes what constitutes an “adequate” first aid kit. With the exception of the logging industry, OSHA does not require these industrial first aid kits to have specific contents but merely suggests items the agency feels would be helpful in a first-aid emergency. The list of first aid items itself is referenced from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The reason for not issuing a list of required items is that the hazards in one industry may be completely different from another. Therefore, when planning a first-aid kit ideal for your facility a number of things should be considered:
1. The nature of your industry – as previously mentioned, the hazards common to one industry may not necessarily be present in another.
2. The number of personnel in your facility – while not a hard and fast rule, a smaller workforce will most likely require less first-aid supplies compared to a larger one.
3. The most common hazards and injuries in your facility and the frequency in which they occur – how common a certain accident occurs will influence the number of supplies of your first aid kit.
4. The size of your facility – depending on the size of the facility, you may need more than one industrial first aid kit situated in different locations.
All these factors should be studied carefully when planning a first aid kit. For example:
● Plant Q has a layout of 10,000 sq. ft.
● There are 10 work areas, with each area spaced at least 100ft away from each other.
● Each work area has on average 15 personnel working at any given time.
● The most common injuries are first degree burns.
For this plant, an ideal set up would be having 10 small industrial first aid kits that are situated in each area, with additional burn ointment and bandages.
Compare this with:
● Plant G has a layout of 20,000 sq. ft.
● There are only 3 working areas in close proximity to each other; the rest of the plant is automated.
● Each work area has about 50 personnel working at any given time.
● The most common injuries are minor cuts.
This plant would benefit from 2 or 3 larger industrial first aid kits situated at opposite ends of the work area. The supplies should have a higher number of antiseptic wipes and bandages.
There are a number of industrial first aid kits on the market that are available in a number of configurations. These make it easier to find a kit that will best suit your facility. The beauty of purchasing a ready-made industrial first aid kit is that it’s much easier to customize it. A ready-made industrial first aid kit also saves you the effort of getting a proper storage unit since each kit comes with its own case.
When considering an industrial first aid kit for your facility, make sure to study the needs of your workforce and facility. Proper planning will ensure you have the best industrial first aid kit for your needs, which in turn will make your facility a safer place.