If you never had to worry about workplace injury you likely have OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to thank. Created in 1970 by Congress, the OSHA oversees every workplace in America to ensure safety and health for every working man and woman. OSHA regulates everything from limits on toxic substance exposure and the use of protective equipment to employee training and access to information.
OSHA standards differ from industry to industry, but one nearly universal regulation is that employees must have ready access to an appropriately stocked first aid kit or first aid cabinet. Some workplaces might require as little as bandages, gauze, and disinfectant wipes. More hazardous workplaces, however, might warrant a first aid kit with splints, resuscitation equipment, chemical eyewash, and more.
Not sure if you have a first aid kit that’s up to snuff? Here’s a sample supply list from OSHA 1910.266 App A and Amazon links to examples of each.
- Gauze Pads (at least 4 x 4 inches)
- Large Gauze Pads (at least 8 x 10 inches)
- Adhesive Bandages
- Gauze Roller Bandage (at least 2 inches wide)
- Triangular Bandages (at least 2)
- Wound Cleaning Agent
- Adhesive Tape
- Exam Gloves
- Resuscitation Equipment (bag, mask, or valve)
- Elastic Wraps (at least 2)
- Directions for requesting emergency assistance
While many first aid kits on Amazon advertise themselves as OSHA compliant with 100+ components when you actually look at what is included many are not. Be sure to double-check both your existing kit and anything new you buy with the above checklist.
Seem like a lot? Well, these are just the basics. Depending on the nature of the industry, OSHA inspectors might also require specialty personal protective equipment or clean-up kits for chemical and acid spills, body fluid clean-up, animal bites, and more. Please check your local and industry requirements for more.
While the above is all that is required by OSHA other things to consider are properly labeled Medical Cabinet, and maybe common over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers and anti-acids. As stated previously most kits on Amazon are not OSHA compliant, even if they claim to be, but if you are starting from scratch there is no reason you can’t start with a complete kit, including wall cabinet, and adding what you need to bring it up to code or to better suit your workplace’s needs.
Even if you’re not an employer, you should take the safety of your home and family every bit as seriously as OSHA does in the workplace and consider some of the above for your kitchen, car, or emergency readiness bag.
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