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How to Select the Best First Aid Kit for Your Business Premises

Many people, including office and construction managers, think that choosing the most adequate first aid kit for their offices is simple and straightforward. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. You must be aware that the regulations and guidelines that the kits used in offices must comply with are so numerous that it would be very difficult even to enumerate all of them.

What we propose here is not a detailed description or a summary of the legal requirements that first aid kits need to comply with – it would be impossible, especially as each jurisdiction has its own regulations. This will be much rather a synthesis of the categories that determine to the content and structure of the kit to be chosen.

For regulated worksites in Canada, Occupational Health and Safety requires first aid kits based on the hazard class of the site, number of workers per shift and how many minutes surface time the workplace is from a ambulance or hospital.  Supplies must be sanitary and kept updated. Some products, such as eyewash fluids may expire.  A knowledgable person should be in charge of regularly checking the supplies to ensure the minimum materials are in the kit and are sanitary.  Many workplaces require that employees that are travelling for commercial purposes by vehicle also have a first aid kit that is OHS regulated in their truck.

The Type of the Business

The kind of the business conducted in the office defines the type of the first aid kit required. Office areas obviously pose fewer hazards than large construction sites. In order to be able to choose right, you need to assess the types of hazards the employees might be exposed to. Even if you run your business from an office, the first aid kits you purchase must contain the following:

–       antiseptics to be used for the prevention of infections,

–       items to use for the treatment of injuries like compresses or butterfly closures,

–       items to use for dressing wounds,

–       instruments like glove and  pocket masks

Your business activity defines the type of the kit that works best for your employees. Wall mounted kits are great for offices because they can be installed in a central place, easily accessible for everyone, while portable kits are more suitable for construction sites or for business activities that require employees to move around on relatively large territories.

If your employees need to handle dangerous chemicals that can cause burns or other injuries, the first aid kit you use need to have component for addressing such hazards. Additional CPR equipment may also be necessary if the substances used can cause respiratory problems as well.

The Size of Your Business

The more employees there are, the more first aid kits are necessary. If your employees work in remote areas, it is recommended to provide of your teams with their own first aid kit.

Structure and Quality

When purchasing a first aid kit,  choose kits that are well structured and the items in it should all be of the highest quality. In case of an emergency, you might not have time to search long for the bandage you need – you need it to be at hand. Similarly, plaster that does not stick or scissors that do not cut are useless if you are in an emergency – you need products that work perfectly.

The above aspects are guidelines that need to be respected, but it is essential that you consult the local legislation applicable for choosing the best first aid kit for your business. It is also recommended to carry out periodic inspections of the kits you keep within your business premises in order to avoid problems caused by incomplete kits.

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