First aid kits enable people to offer immediate care in the aftermath of a workplace injury. They are essential components of a business’s health and safety inventory. The United States Department of Labor requires all businesses to have an adequate first aid kit on hand. Businesses may be fined for failing to show a first aid kit to an inspector.
Businesses are not expected to have large inventories of medical equipment. Instead, they are required to stock a few basic items for the immediate care of minor injuries. Here are some of the essential items that should be tucked away in every first aid kit.
No standard box of medical supplies would be complete without various kinds of gauze wound dressing. Wound dressings need to be applied tightly on bleeding cuts in order to stop bleeding. When applied in a workplace, these are typically not up to scratch: they are only a stop-gap designed to stem bleeding while a person is sent to the hospital for treatment.
It is very important to cover wounds in the workplace, no matter how small they are. Standard packs of multi-size band-aids can help prevent infection following minor skin punctures. Minor cuts happen all of the time when working with resistant materials. If left unchecked, these minor wounds can lead to infections that seriously impact a worker’s life.
When treating injuries in the workplace, it is important to prevent the spread of disease. Latex gloves allow a person to work on an injured area without allowing any open wounds on their hands to touch and open wounds on the patient. They also prevent the spread of germs that may be resting on the surface of a hand. Never touch an open wound without having thoroughly washed your hands and covered them up with a pair of latex gloves.
Medical tape is necessary for completing the placement of a bandage or triangular gauze. Traditional adhesive tape is not appropriate. Only medical tape can be safely used.
Eye Washing Kit
Foreign objects finding their way into an eye is common – especially if employees neglect proper safety goggle protocol. In businesses where metal and glass is worked using machines, materials flying through the air can embed themselves into an eye and cause extreme damage. Every business should have an eye washing kit inside their first aid box. This usually includes an eye bath, cleaning solution, and gloves.
Wound Cleaning Agent
Open wounds are extremely vulnerable to infection. Even minor injuries can lead to life-threatening infections if they are not cleaned correctly. Wound cleaning agents are essential bits of first aid gear. Povidone-iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol are all popular wound cleaning agents due to their antiseptic properties. Anybody that has ever had their wound cleaned with these substances will know full well how much they hurt to apply. In the long run, however, they can spare a person from infection.