Not all first aid kits are created equal. It’s not as simple as just purchasing one from the nearest shop.
While you may (hopefully) seldom need it, it’s crucial that your kit suits your workplace and the potential injuries that could occur.
It must also meet the relevant guidelines and requirements set out by WHS authorities.
Choosing the right first aid kit for your workplace isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds, however.
Here are the things you need to consider when looking at your options for a first aid kit.
Does it meet WHS standards?
You need a first aid kit that complies with the requirements of the WHS authority in your state or territory, as well as Safe Work Australia’s guidelines.
If you get your kit from a reputable supplier then it should meet these requirements, but it’s always best to double-check.
This is the first step, and once you have found a range of kits that comply you can then move on to looking at your specific requirements.
What is your work environment like? What are the corresponding hazards?
The type of workplace you’re purchasing the first aid kit for is the most important thing to consider.
Different workplaces require different first aid kits.
A retail shopfront or an office has less risk of a serious injury occurring than a mechanic workshop or a construction site, for example.
An injury at one of the latter places would result in an injury that requires prompt medical attention, more so than a library would, to use another example.
The correct medical treatment being applied as immediately as possible can mean the difference between an injury worsening or keeping the person stable – or even life and death.
You should have already done a risk assessment on your workplace so that you have identified and are aware of the hazards that exist, and the injuries that could occur.
Where a shop may have a hazard in tripping over an extension cord or not lifting heavy boxes correctly, a construction site has machines, tools and vehicles that pose a far greater risk of causing severe injuries.
A ‘regular’ first aid kit may not be enough to treat the injuries that could occur at these workplaces.
Where is your workplace located?
Workplaces in remote areas need to consider how long it takes emergency services to respond to an emergency call.
First aid kits for these locations should be well-stocked to aid in treating the injured person for a longer period of time than in a more suburban area.
How many staff do you have?
Your first aid kit must have enough supplies for all employees in the workplace.
You also need to think about catering to any visitors to your site, like volunteers or contractors.
When you’ve chosen the right first aid kit for your workplace, you should put it in a handy, accessible spot.
Depending on the size of your workplace, you may need more first aid kits to cover the other areas as well.
Your first aid kit should never be locked, and inventory should be taken regularly so that items can be replaced as quickly as possible.
We always recommend that all staff have first aid training, so that in the event of an injury they have the correct knowledge of what to do.
First aid training shows people what items in a first aid kit should be used, as well as when and how to use them.
Contact us here at Workplace Emergency Management to organise on-site first aid training in your workplace, or for any advice on choosing the right first aid kit.
We’re happy to help!