It might be true that accidents happen, but surely every employer and employee would agree it’s good to keep them to a minimum. Regardless, especially in industrial contexts, it’s critical to have the right equipment on hand in case something does happen.
Whether it’s a standard first aid kit or something more specialized like a wash station, body fluid cleanup kit or burn kit, it’s important to anticipate likely hazards in your facility and be prepared.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires “employees be given a safe and healthy workplace that is reasonably free of occupational hazard.” But, because accidents do happen, “employers are required to provide medical and first aid personnel and supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace.”
In addition, OSHA standard 1910.151(b) states “adequate first aid supplies must be readily available when an infirmary or clinic is not available on the worksite.”
For many workplaces, OSHA doesn’t offer any more detailed requirements than that, but there are more specific rules for these types of work:
Beyond those specific industries, OSHA refers employers to a voluntary standard developed by the International Safety Equipment Association, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2021 “establishes minimum performance specifications for first aid kits and their supplies.” ANSI provides details about the standard, which was updated in 2021, in this blog post. Businesses were expected to meet the updated standards no later than October 15, 2022.
The updated standards require a foil blanket and additional hand sanitizers for both classes of first aid kits. The updated standards also offer more guidance on required types of tourniquets for Class B kits.
Class A kits are “intended to provide a basic range of products to deal with most common types of injuries encountered in the workplace,” while Class B kits “are intended to provide broader range and quantity of supplies to deal with injuries that personnel may encounter in more populated, complex, and/or high-risk work environments.”
Failing to meet safety-related obligations is a major issue for a business, with possible consequences including, but not limited to, injured employees, fines and lawsuits.
Kimball Midwest will be introducing several new first aid kit options in February 2023, with many great options to meet your operation’s safety needs.
Regardless of your timing, your Kimball Midwest sales representative would be happy to help connect you with the right choices for your team. If you’re not already a Kimball Midwest customer, we’d love to help you