First aid kits are a must in the office. But do you know everything you need to about what items should be in your first aid box and Regulation 7?
There are so many potential situations and medical emergencies that can occur in the workplace. A daunting thought, isn’t it? And even with all of your best efforts to make sure your employees work safely, medical emergencies, accidents and injuries do sadly happen. This is why a correctly stocked first aid kit and a dedicated first aid officer is imperative in ensuring your company is OHSAA act compliant.
Human Resources are exactly that, a (precious) resource that needs to be protected and nurtured. These resources need a supportive and safe environment in order to be productive and motivated to get their work done. So, how can you make sure that something as simple, but critically important, as a first aid kit, supports this?
The value of a first aider and a first aid kit within the workplace
As a first aider, you are aware that a correctly stocked first aid kit is necessary in the office.
It is a daunting thought that there are so many potential situations and medical emergencies that can occur in the workplace. Even with all your best efforts to make sure everyone works safely, medical emergencies, accidents and injuries do unfortunately happen. A correctly stocked workplace first aid kit, with you as a dedicated first aider is imperative in ensuring your company is OHS compliant.
We’ve answered some FAQs on the first aid kit (and other safety equipment) every office needs
When should first aid be provided in the workplace?
Regulation 7 states that ”an employer shall take all reasonable steps that are necessary under the circumstances, to ensure that persons at work receive prompt first aid treatment in case of injury or emergency.”
Does a first aider need to be appointed in my workplace?
If you have more than 10 employees employed at your workplace, you need a first aider. If you have a shop or office, by law you require one first aider for every 100 employees. In other workplace environments, you require one for every 50 employees.
This is a compulsory legal appointment, and the first aider must be readily available during normal working hours. The benefits of having a first aider are enormous. It gives the employees comfort in knowing that their health and welfare at work are important and taken care of by the employer.
What kind of training does my first aider need?
They must have a valid first aid certificate, that has been issued by a person or organisation approved by a SETA for this purpose. This certificate needs to be renewed every 3 years.
When should first aid kits be provided?
The regulation states that your first aid kit for work must be provided ‘‘Where more than five employees are employed at a workplace”
Do I need additional first aid equipment in my workplace?
If your employees are exposed to (or may be exposed to) hazardous biological agents or hazardous chemical substances, additional equipment is necessary.
It is also important that your employees are trained to use the additional equipment in the case of such an emergency.
Where must I place my first aid kit?
If someone needs access to the first aid kit, it must be visible and accessible for the treatment of any injured or ill persons at that workplace.
How many first aid kits should be provided?
The number of first aid kits is determined by you and by:
- The types of injuries
- The nature of the activities performed
- The number of employees employed
What signage do I need for my first aid kit?
You need to have a prominent notice or sign in a conspicuous place at your workplace that indicates where the first aid kit is and the name of the first aider on duty.
Can the employer keep medicines like painkillers or antihistamines in the first aid kit?
Regulation 7 states that you must ensure that only products listed in the above table are kept in the first aid kit for work. According to the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act 101 of 1965, no person is allowed to dispense a medicine (ie: headache tablets, cough mixture, any other oral medicine) unless authorized to do so under the Pharmacy Act.
How often should I check my first aid kit?
All items in your first aid kit must be replaced as soon as they expire or have been used. It is important to check your first aid kit often to ensure that it contains the prescribed minimum contents.
Do I need to appoint a first aid officer in my workplace?
If you have more than 10 employees employed at your workplace, you need a first aid officer. This is a compulsory legal appointment and the first aid officer must be readily available during normal working hours.
How many first aid officers do I need?
If you have a shop or office, by law you require one first aid officer for every 100 employees. In other workplace environments, by law, you require one first aid officer for every 50 employees.
First Aid Kit Checklist
These are the minimum prescribed first aid kit supplies that should be in your first aid kit
|Item 1||Wound cleaner / antiseptic (100ml)|
|Item 2||Gauze Swabs for cleaning wounds x 25|
|Item 3||Cotton wool for padding (100g)|
|Item 4||Sterile gauze (minimum quantity 10)|
|Item 5||1 x pair of forceps (for splinters)|
|Item 6||1 x pair of scissors (minimum size 100mm)|
|Item 7||1 x set of safety pins|
|Item 8||4 x triangular bandages|
|Item 9||4 x conforming bandages (75mm x 5m)|
|Item 10||4 x conforming bandages (100mm x 5m)|
|Item 11||1 x roll of elastic adhesive (25mm x 3m)|
|Item 12||1 x Non-allergenic adhesive strip (25mm x 3m)|
|Item 13||1 x Packet of adhesive dressing strips (minimum quantity 10 assorted sizes)|
|Item 14||4 x First aid dressings – No 3 (75mm x 100mm)|
|Item 15||4 x First aid dressings – No 5 (150mm x 200mm)|
|Item 16||2 x Straight splints|
|Item 17||2 x Pairs large and 2 x pairs medium disposable latex gloves|
|Item 18||2 x CPR mouth pieces or similar devices|
|Item 19||Adequate supply of absorbent material – like paper towels – for absorption of blood and other body fluids spilled|
|Item 20||Disinfectant to disinfect the area after cleaning up blood and other body fluids spilled.|
|Item 21||1 x Pair large and 1 x pair medium disposable rubber household gloves.|
|Item 22||2 x 2-ply Paper face masks|
|Item 23||1 x Absorbent gel (50g)|
|Item 24||A suitable sized self-seal bag for the safe disposal of blood and other body fluid contaminated biohazard materials|
*Minimum contents of a First Aid kit in the case of shops and offices, the quantities stated under items 1, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, and 18 may be reduced by half. Having a suitably stocked first aid kit and a trained first aider is important for every workplace. Absolute Health Services provides accredited first aid training for the First Aid NQF Level 1 course that will ensure your first aider has the best training for your environment