As an HR manager, you know that a correctly stocked first aid kit is a must in the office. But do you know everything you need to about 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?
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.”
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.
What kind of training does my first aid officer need?
Your first aid officer must have a valid first aid certificate, that has been issued by a person or organisation approved by the chief inspector for this purpose.
Where pesticides, hazardous chemical substances or hazardous biological agents are used, handled, processed or manufactured your first aid worker should be trained in the first aid procedures that are necessary for the treatment of injuries that may result from such activities.
What happens in the case of injuries or wounds?
It is the employee’s duty to report an injury to his employer immediately. These injuries could be range from an open wound, cut, sore or any similar injury. It is then the employer’s duty not to allow the employee to continue to work before the injury has been cleaned with soap and water or with a diluted disinfectant and suitably dressed to eliminate blood or bodily fluids seepage through the dressing, where necessary.
What emergency equipment do I need in my workplace?
In that case that your employees are exposed to (or may be exposed to) hazardous biological agents or hazardous chemical substances, additional equipment is necessary.
Employees who have a potential hazard of injury to the eye will need access to an eye-wash fountain, in the immediate vicinity of the workplace. Employees exposed to a potential hazard of sudden contact with a large amount of hazardous chemical substances or hazardous biological agents, a fast-reacting deluge shower with clean water is imperative.
It is also important that your employees are trained to use the deluge shower and eye-wash fountain in the case of such an emergency.
When should first aid kits be provided?
The regulation states that your first aid kit must be provided ‘‘Where more than five employees are employed at a workplace”
Where must I place my first aid kit?
Your first aid kit must be at or near your workplace. It needs to be available and accessible for the treatment of injured persons at that workplace.
How many first aid kits should be provided?
The number of first aid kits is determined by you, and determined by:
- The types of injuries that are likely to occur at a workplace
- The nature of the activities performed in your workplace
- The number of employees employed at your workplace
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 aid officer.
What are the minimum prescribed items that should be in my first aid kit?
|Item 1||Wound cleaner / antiseptic (100ml)|
|Item 2||Swabs for cleaning wounds|
|Item 3||Cotton wool for padding (100g)|
|Item 4||Sterile gauze (minimum quantity 10)|
|Item 5||1 pair of forceps (for splinters)|
|Item 6||1 pair of scissors (minimum size 100mm)|
|Item 7||1 set of safety pins|
|Item 8||4 triangular bandages|
|Item 9||4 roller bandages (75mm x 5m)|
|Item 10||4 roller bandages (100mm x 5m)|
|Item 11||1 roll of elastic adhesive (25mm x 3m)|
|Item 12||1 Non-allergenic adhesive strip (25mm x 3m)|
|Item 13||1 Packet of adhesive dressing strips (minimum quantity 10 assorted sizes)|
|Item 14||4 First aid dressings (75mm x 100mm)|
|Item 15||4 First aid dressings (150mm x 200mm)|
|Item 16||2 Straight splints|
|Item 17||2 Pairs large and 2 pairs medium disposable latex gloves|
|Item 18||2 CPR mouthpieces or similar devices|
|Item 19||Adequate supply of absorbent material for absorption of blood and other body fluids spilt|
|Item 20||Disinfectant to disinfect the area after cleaning up blood and other body fluids spilt.|
|Item 21||2 Pairs large and 2 pairs medium disposable rubber household gloves.|
|Item 22||A suitable sized impervious 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.
Are there any new items that have been added?
The spillage kit has recently been added the content of the first aid kit. (See items 19 to 22 in the above)
Can we keep other articles or substances like painkillers in the first aid kit?
Regulation 7 states that you must ensure that only items listed above are kept in the first aid kit. 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 authorised 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 possible. It is important to check your first aid kit often to ensure that it contains the prescribed minimum contents.
Are you compliant with the OHS Act of South Africa?
Take our speedy online assessment to find out.