Most businesses are aware of the importance of providing a first aid kit on their premises. It not only ensures that staff – and indeed visitors – have access to basic emergency equipment in the event of accident or illness, but also helps to keep businesses on the right side of the law in terms of their health and safety obligations. No office should ever be without a fully-stocked first aid kit – in fact, they should have more than one if they have more than 100 staff.
However, one area of health and safety that businesses could overlook is that of their offsite staff. Although some businesses are based almost entirely on the road, such as tradesmen, others with a headquarters are likely to have staff who spent the majority of their time away from the office. For example, sales representatives or new businesses executives who are either usually found at the offices of prospective clients or on the road to their next destination.
Out of sight should not mean out mind, though, especially when it comes to health and safety. Offsite staff need to be provided with their own first aid kits, albeit ones that have been adapted for travel (in a nylon case with zip closure). One kit per one offsite staff member is recommended.
What should be in the kit?
Just like office first aid kits, travel versions need to come equipped with everything you’d need to deal with a minor medical problem. So plasters, a range of bandages and dressing should be in there, along with safety pins and sterile wipes for dealing with cuts that could become septic. Additionally, tape, gloves, a foil blanket, burn dressing, eyewash and clothes cutters should be in the kit.
Keeping up with changes
Even if you’ve already issued your offsite staff with travel first aid kits, it’s worth keeping up with latest recommendations on best practice. The British Healthcare Trade Association recently worked with the British Standards Institute to come up with a new British standard for first aid kits in the workplace. Based on the minimum requirements set out by the Health and Safety Executive’s approved code of practice, the kits are designed to deal with a wide range of common workplace injuries and illnesses, meaning they’re more comprehensive than previous kits.
A little preparation could go a long way – ensuring your staff stay safe and keeping you on the right side of the regulations.