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%OUI%What kind of first aid kit do employers need to provide to be OSHA compliant?

Here's what OSHA has to say about first aid kits:

In the absence of an infirmary, clinic or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available.

"Appendix A to 1910.151 -- First aid kits (Non-Mandatory)
First aid supplies are required to be readily available under paragraph 1910.151(b). An example of the minimal contents of a generic first aid kit is described in American National Standard (ANSI) Z308.1-1998 "Minimum Requirements for Workplace First-aid Kits." The contents of the kit listed in the ANSI standard should be adequate for small worksites. When larger operations or multiple operations are being conducted at the same location, employers should determine the need for additional first aid kits at the worksite, additional types of first aid equipment and supplies and additional quantities and types of supplies and equipment in the first aid kits.

In a similar fashion, employers who have unique or changing first-aid needs in their workplace may need to enhance their first-aid kits. The employer can use the OSHA 200 log, OSHA 101's or other reports to identify these unique problems. Consultation from the local fire/rescue department, appropriate medical professional, or local emergency room may be helpful to employers in these circumstances. By assessing the specific needs of their workplace, employers can ensure that reasonably anticipated supplies are available. Employers should assess the specific needs of their worksite periodically and augment the first aid kit appropriately.

If it is reasonably anticipated that employees will be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials while using first aid supplies, employers are required to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in compliance with the provisions of the Occupational Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens standard, 1910.1030(d)(3) (56 FR 64175). This standard lists appropriate PPE for this type of exposure, such as gloves, gowns, face shields, masks, and eye protection.

[63 FR 33450, June 18, 1998; 70 FR 1141, Jan. 5, 2005]"

IndustrialSavings.com Editorial Note: OSHA's statement is deliberately vague as each individual workplace/site is unique. OSHA does say the ANSI Z308.1-1998 (updated to ANSI Z308.1-2003): standard "should be adequate for small worksites." The bottom line is that it's up to each employer to know their worplace and make the proper first aid equipment & supplies available.

Is there a standard first aid kit based on the number of employees we have?

You'll find many first aid kits labeled as "for X number of people" but there is really no way of knowing. You may have 100 people working in an area and only 1 needs any first aid on a given day or you may have 50 people working in an area and all 50 may happen to need first aid at the same time. Sorry if this doesn't make things easy, but there's really no simple answer. We can't always know what disasters or accidents may occur but we CAN be prepared for them. First aid kits are not generally a big expense and when it comes to saving the life of an employee or friend, it always pays to err on the side of safety. Get a bigger kit than you think you NEED or are REQUIRED to have. You can't put a price tag on a person's health & safety. BE SAFE - BE PREPARED

According to ANSI Z308.1-2003 Section 5.1 Required Contents, "All first aid kits conforming to the requirements of this standard shall contain the first aid items indicated in Table 1. The quantity, dimensions, or volume listed for each item is the minimum for compliance with this standard. Larger items that meet or exceed the performance requirements of Section 5.1.1 are considered equivalent. Additional quantities are to be added as needed to meet the requirements of a particular work environment.".

Table 1
Performance Requirement SectionItem and Minimum Size or VolumeMinimum Quantity
Item Compress, 32 s. in (206 sq. cm.), with no side smaller than 4 in. (10 cm)1
Item Bandages, 1 x 3 in. (2.5 x 7.5 cm)16
Item Tape, 3/8 in x 5 yd. (457.2 cm) total1
Item, 0.14 fl. oz. (0.5 g) application10
Item Treatment, 1/32 oz. (0.9 g) application6
Item Exam Gloves2 Pair
Item Pad, 3 x 3 in. (7.5 x 7.5 cm)4
Item Bandage, 40 x 40 x 56 in. (101 x 101 x 142 cm)1

Note: The table above is just the MINIMUM REQUIRED to meet the ANSI standard. Do your homework. Know your work environment. Get more than you think you need. OSHA has never sighted an employer for being too safe or too prepared.

Most of our kits far exceed the ANSI minimum fill standard. The following kits were designed to specifically meet or exceed ANSI Z308.1-2003

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