Unless you happen to be brand spankin’ new to the safety game, you’re probably aware that OSHA requires first aid kits in the workplace. This regulation is pretty basic. It simply states that adequate first aid supplies must be readily available in the workplace.
Like numerous other regulations, this one is open to interpretation, which can lead to potential problems. Have you witnessed any OSHA inspectors dropping by your facility? If you haven’t, it may be a good time to tell you that how well those little visits usually go often depends on the inspector’s mood when it comes to topics he or she gets to “interpret”.
You’ll want to be safe rather than sorry, so when it comes to first aid kits in your facility, you’re best bet is to comply with the OSHA recommendation regarding ANSI standards for first aid kits.
What you need to know:
In June of 2015, the American National Standards Institute revised their first aid kit standards. The most notable change in the new ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2015 standard is that it now provides specific itemized lists for each class of compliant first aid kit.
In addition they’ve also set forth some classifications (Type l-V) for the kit containers themselves. These classifications clarify characterizations of the kits such as portability, mounting capability, performance factors like moisture or puncture resistance and whether they are suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
While this updated standard is not OSHA mandated (more of a suggestion) some states have adopted the ANSI Z308.1 requirements as their own Mandated Workplace First Aid Guidelines. In those states the OSHA regulations are overruled by the state regulations making it a requirement that all kits within workplaces comply to the ANSI standard.
Not all first aid kits are created equal!
Class A kits contain supplies that would generally be used to treat common workplace injuries. Examples include typical injuries such as cuts and scrapes, eye injuries, minor burns or scalds and sprains.
Class B kits contain higher amounts of supplies and require a couple extra trauma-related items like a splint and tourniquet. These are the kind of kits you’ll want to use in workplaces that are more potentially hazardous than average.
ANSI guidelines also require kit containers to have labels that state “It will continue to be compliant only when maintained with products that meet the standard at specified quantities”. It’s because of this that we recommend ditching the idea of only purchasing a compliant refill pack and tossing it inside an old case. That’s not going to work. Sorry.
Now that you’re up-to-date, stay up-to date!
In order to maintain compliancy you’ll need to make sure supplies are replenished as needed. This task can be tedious to keep up with, but it doesn’t have to be. SmartCompliance® Cabinets have a cool feature called the SmartTab™ ezRefill System that makes the reordering and restocking process less frustrating and ensures that you’ll always be prepared for workplace injuries.
It’s also a smart move to keep additional full kit contents on hand for replacements. Another OSHA inspection insight: it’s always the day after a worker uses eight bandages that the inspector shows up. Stay stocked up so you don’t risk non-compliancy over something so simple.
Why stop now? There’s a lot more to First aid than just kits. So much so that OSHA created this in-depth best practices informational download with advice on complete first aid preparedness including emergency response planning, worksite analysis, first aid training and more. Medsafe offers a broad range of first aid supplies to meet your compliancy needs!