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T.A.S.C.O. Tip: All workplace safety guidelines center around preventing accidents on the job. However, despite all precautions and caution signs, accidents do still happen. Employee recovery from an accident or injury may depend on what happens initially after the incident. Workplace or industrial first-aid kits have unique requirements for just this reason.
While OSHA requires that first-aid kits be available at work, guidelines are not always offered about specific content. ANSI standards for first-aid kits require a basic range of products to alleviate most injuries at work such as burns, eye injuries, and both major and minor wounds. However, each workplace is unique so additional items should be chosen based on individual work environments. For example, in addition to scissors, disposable gloves and pain relieving medication, industrial first-aid kits might include biohazard bags and breathing barriers. In certain manufacturing facilities, employees who serve as first responders must know how to handle more severe wound care until medical personnel arrive. Employees must also be aware of how to clean up blood spills appropriately. Some facilities might need to supplement their basic first-aid kits with those items for biohazard accidents. These might include a body fluid encapsulate, heavy-duty gloves and sanitizing solutions.
Assign an employee to check first-aid kits for restocking supplies, removing outdated items and ensuring the kit remains in one central location. Post signage in the workplace reminding employees the kit location. Also, develop a protocol for handling minor injuries and requests for items like aspirin, as well as for documenting such occurrences.