The Most Important Things Your Workplace First Aid Kit Needs

An important factor to minimizing or preventing many workplace injuries, the first aid kit is the first line of defense from Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations and lawsuits.  What does your first aid kit need to meet OSHA standards and protect your employees?

No matter the amount of employees, it is mandatory to have a first aid kit to be prepared for the unfortunate consequence of a workplace injury.  But having a first aid kit isn’t enough. Without at least one employee trained and prepared to use this first aid kit, your business is at severe risk for substantial penalties under OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.151.

Both OSHA and the American National Standard (ANSI) require minimum amounts of supplies readily available to treat employees injured while awaiting medical attention.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Requirements

Based on CFR 1910.151 OSHA mandates that

“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. “

Although there are no specific requirements regarding quantity of material are provided, the logging standard offers the following overview of needs for a 2-3 person work site.

  • Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
  • Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
  • Box adhesive bandages (Band-Aids).
  • One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide.
  • Two triangular bandages.
  • Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes.
  • Scissors.
  • At least one blanket.
  • Tweezers.
  • Adhesive tape.
  • Latex gloves.
  • Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask.
  • Two elastic wraps.
  • Splint.
  • Directions for requesting emergency assistance.

Further, CFR 1910.151(c) states that

“Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

American National Standard (ANSI) Requirements

Slightly different from the OSHA standards, the minimum first aid kit allowed by ANSI guidelines is as follows for a company of 10 Employees or less:

  • Absorbent compress, 32 sq. in. (81.3 sq. cm.) with no side smaller than 4 in. (10 cm): 1 ea.
  • Adhesive bandages, 1 in. x 3 in. (2.5 cm x 7.5 cm): 16 ea.
  • Adhesive tape, 5 yd. (457.2 cm) total: 1 ea.
  • Antiseptic, 0.5g (0.14 fl oz.): 10 applications.
  • Burn treatment, 0.5 g (0.14 fl. oz.): 6 applications
  • Medical exam gloves: 2 pair
  • Sterile pads, 3 in. x 3 in. (7.5 x 7.5 cm): 4 ea.
  • Triangular bandage, 40 in. x 40 in. x 56 in. (101 cmx 101 cm x 142 cm): 1 ea.

Additionally, recommended First Aid Kit Requirements in ANSI are as follows: Analgesic (should contain no ingredients that are known to cause drowsiness), Bandage compress(es), Breathing barrier for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Burn dressing(s) at least 12 sq. inches, Cold pack(s) at least 4 x 5 inches, Eye covering(s), Eye/skin wash (4 fl. Ounces), Hand sanitizer with a minimum of 61 percent ethyl alcohol, Roller bandage(s).

Other Important Factors

Although not required by OSHA or ANSI guidelines, many items are highly recommended by the bodies or mandatory in certain states.

  • Automated External Defibrillator
  • An Emergency Medical Plan

Nova Medical Centers, with over forty-five locations in three states, cares about the safety and health of your employees.  We offer a full range of services in our offices, and can provide on-location occupational health services to help your business.  Contact us to learn the Nova Difference and what we can do to improve your safety.

Related Resources

OSHA and ANSI First Aid Standards (Northwest Safety Equipment)

Minimally Acceptable First Aid Supplies (OSHA)

Most Cited OSHA Violations (Nova Blog)

Four Basic Ways to Prevent Workplace Injury (Nova Blog)

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