Everything You Need to Create an Osha-Compliant First Aid Program in 2021

First aid suppliesOSHA-compliant first aid kits are vital for avoiding fines at your business and keeping your employees safe, but how do you become compliant?

Below we’ll discuss what OSHA is, what their requirements for first aid kits are, some tips for compliance, and the items you need to have in stock to comply.

What is OSHA?

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a national governmental agency that ensures safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

OSHA & First Aid Kits

OSHA released a baseline list with the minimally acceptable number and type of first-aid supplies for first-aid kits, which every business must have on hand to comply. However, OSHA also requires that beyond that baseline list, adequate first aid supplies are readily available at every business based on that workplace’s level of risk. For example, the first aid supplies required for high-risk environments, like construction sites, are much different than what is required in the typical office building.

Evaluate Your Hazards

To fully comply with OSHA’s first aid guidelines. your first aid program must be stocked with the appropriate supplies to manage the hazards which can be reasonably expected to occur in your workplace. Therefore, to begin the compliance process, you first need to evaluate the potential work-related hazards at your place of business and purchase the appropriate supplies to manage those hazards and help those that may be injured.

OSHA First Aid Best Practices

OSHA also offers businesses some best practices to simplify the compliance process. Read below to see some tips for compliance:

  • Give a specific person the responsibility of selecting the types and amounts of first-aid supplies you need and maintaining these supplies.
  • The supplies you choose should reflect the kinds of injuries that occur at your workplace(s).
  • Supplies must be stored in an area where they are readily available for emergency access.
  • Conduct a risk assessment and compile a first aid supply list specific to your worksite(s).
  • Estimate the emergency medical response times for all of your locations at all times of day and night.
  • Put your first aid policies and procedures in writing, and communicate them to all your employees regularly.
  • Your first-aid courses should be tailored to the needs of your workplace(s). Training should be repeated regularly to maintain and update knowledge and skills.
  • Review your first-aid program periodically to determine if it continues to address the needs of the workplace. Any outdated training materials should be removed and replaced.
  • Keep track of any changes in your workplace’s safety, health hazards, and worker schedules. Your first aid training, supplies, and policies should be modified to account for any of these changes.
  • Consider adding an automated external defibrillator (AED) to your first-aid supplies and equipment.
  • Consulting with a fire and life safety company or emergency medical professionals may be beneficial.

The Minimum Supplies You Need to Comply

The minimally acceptable number and type of first-aid supplies OSHA requires for first-aid kits are listed below.

  1. Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
  2. Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
  3. Box adhesive bandages (band-aids).
  4. One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide.
  5. Two triangular bandages.
  6. Wound cleaning agents such as sealed moistened towelettes.
  7. Scissors.
  8. At least one blanket.
  9. Tweezers.
  10. Adhesive tape.
  11. Latex gloves.
  12. Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask.
  13. Two elastic wraps.
  14. Splint.
  15. Directions for requesting emergency assistance.

However, OSHA also states, “the contents of the first-aid kit listed should be adequate for small work sites, consisting of approximately two to three employees. When larger operations or multiple operations are being conducted at the same location, additional first-aid kits should be provided at the worksite, or additional quantities of supplies should be included in the first-aid kits.”

According to this statement, your business will likely need much higher quantities of each item than what is listed above, unless your company has three employees or fewer.

Expired Supplies

You will also want to ensure that none of the above supplies have expired. With the lockdowns and general chaos over the last year, many organizations have neglected to check their first aid supplies. Not checking leaves your business subject to fines and endangers anyone that may need those supplies in the event of an emergency.

Want help getting your business’s first-aid program OSHA-compliant? Speak with one of our First Aid Experts today.