All workplaces must arrange adequate health and safety provisions, which incorporate first aid kits, somewhere suitable for the equipment to be administered and training so that nominated staff are able to use the kit.
However, if you’re responsible for this area of office safety, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind in terms of the type and quantity of kit you order. It’s not good enough to simply buy the first kit you see on the shelf of a general retailer, especially if you’re working for a medium-sized business or bigger.
The size of the kit is dependent on a combination of factors, including the level of assessed risk in the workplace and the number of employees. As a guide, shops, offices and libraries are considered to be low-hazard, while more industrial-type environments – such as building sites, factories or other places where dangerous machinery is used – are considered to be higher risk.
However, each workplace should be assessed on its individual merits and stocked with first aid equipment accordingly. For example, you could work in a low risk environment but be in a remote area, meaning you need to stock up on extra provisions in the knowledge that help could take a little longer to arrive in the event of a casualty.
Meanwhile, if you’re working in an industrial environment, you need to ensure that your first aid kit is durable and stocked with adequate provisions for the type of injuries that typically happen here. So getting a kit that comes in a durable case and is filled with bandages, sterile wipes and dressings is probably your best course of action. On the other hand, serious cuts and bruises tend to be less common injuries in offices, where you’re more likely to find people requesting plasters for paper cuts or blisters.
If you have offsite staff, don’t forget to issue them with their own travel first aid kit, which should also be stocked with the problems that can be encountered during life on the road. For example, if your offsite staff spend a decent amount of time driving between appointments, a foil blanket is a must in case of a breakdown in freezing weather.
Ultimately, it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities, whether your staff work in an office, factory or on the road. With the Health and Safety Executive liable to prosecute businesses which do not make adequate provisions for staff health and safety, you’ll be looking after much more than your workers’ wellbeing by getting the right first aid kit.