Sudden injuries or illnesses are bound to occur in the workplace. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, out of 3.9 million workers in the state and local government as well as the private sector incurred a nonfatal occupational injury or illness. Among them, 2 million workers got transferred, were placed on certain job restrictions, or took time away from work.
Because of this, treating illnesses and injuries as soon as possible is crucial to maintaining employee health and a fully-functioning establishment. To facilitate this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented the Medical and First Aid standard (1910.151(b)). This requires employers to ensure that adequate first aid supplies are readily available in their facility. Fortunately, this can be done easily with first aid kits.
As you may know, a first aid kit is the containment where supplies and equipment used in administering first aid are stored for safekeeping and quick access. As mentioned in a previous article, several variants are available, depending on the specific requirements of the people or locations they will be used in. Some of the most commonly-known types are the following:
- Office First Aid Kits. As the name implies, these kits are designed for use in an office setting. As such, these kits typically contain supplies necessary for treating minor accidents like cuts, bruises, mild burns, and other typical injuries. Office first aid kits are also manufactured to allow easy restocking, with some even built with modular designs that can also be replaced when necessary. It should be mentioned though that not all office first aid kits are OSHA compliant.
- Sports First Aid Kits. Sports first aid kits are comprised of medical supplies that are meant to treat orthopedic injuries. These are manufactured for whole teams as well as for individual use, and are mostly equipped with cold packs and various bandages.
- Outdoor/Camping First Aid Kits. These kits are designed for treating injuries incurred during outdoor trips. Camping first aid kits vary depending how far in the wilderness it will be used in.
- First Responder Kits. These are kits that are designed for emergency medical response teams. There are various kit configurations which come with varying supplies. However, the following components are fairly common: packs containing shears and flashlights, medical equipment for measuring blood pressure, and large bags with several compartments. First responder kits also come in variants for different levels of medical response.
- Burn Care Kits. Skin burns often require specific medical treatment, especially if the burns are to heal with as little scarring as possible. As such, burn care first aid kits are crucial in locations and/or situations where burn emergencies can be expected. To accomplish this, burn care kits are generally supplied with burn ointment to sterilize the injury and reduce pain, and burn dressings to properly dress the injury. These kits are typically manufactured in two variants, namely soft-sided kits and hard plastic kits.
Illnesses and injuries are a great strain on the country’s workforce. For instance, according to the CDC, $74 billion was spent in 2009 on workers’ compensation alone. First aid kits are a relatively simple but effective means to help save lives, reduce company losses, and maintain a safe working environment.
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