Could your office first aid kit use some attention? There's a lot to consider; where to store it, what to keep in it, and how to keep up with it. In this article, we'll give you all the tools you need to build your office's first aid kit.
First things first—Where should we keep our first aid kit? This seems like a simple question, but there's actually a lot of things to consider.
The first thing you'll need to decide is what type of container you'll keep the kit in. One common option is using a designated cabinet with some shelves. With this kind of storage, the kit will stay well organized.
Another common option is to keep all of the supplies in a bag. If you do this, it may be a great idea to group each type of supply into a separate bag so it's easy to rifle through. You'll want to make sure it's easy to access the needed supplies quickly.
To decide, you'll want to consider the space restrictions of wherever you're storing the kit. If you've got a small space, the bag might be a great option for you. If there's plenty of room, you may want to give a cabinet a try.
You'll definitely want to keep the in an easily accessible place. Some examples include:
If you've got a big office, you'll want to keep multiple kits around the office. You should keep a large, complete kit in a central location and then place smaller kits with basic materials in each department or area of your office.
The things you'll need to keep in your kit will depend on what kind of industry you're in. Traditional office settings can get by with the basics. If part of your office is directly involved with manufacturing, you'll want to keep more intensive supplies on hand.
Here's a list of things you may want to include:
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it should cover most basic office first aid emergencies.
You may also wish to purchase an office first aid kit. These are a great idea and may include things that you wouldn't traditionally think of.
You may also want to include a list of helpful phone numbers. Obviously, everyone knows to call 911 in case of an emergency, but other numbers like Poison Control can be helpful in intense situation.
Keeping your office's first aid kit organized is essential so that your employees can access the materials quickly in an emergency situation.
Organize the kit so that similar items are grouped together—bandages are with bandages, medicines are with medicines, etc.
You'll want to check the kit at least once a month to make sure supplies are stocked. When you start to get low on an item, just replace it. You don't want to be left without something in an emergency.
You'll also want to keep an eye on medicines and anything with an expiration date to make sure they're replaced.
Create a checklist of the items that you normally keep stocked in the cabinet. Oftentimes, if a supply runs out, whoever uses the last item will dispose of the empty box. When you do your monthly check, you may not remember what is supposed to take the place of that empty spot. A checklist will make it easy to ensure everything will be included.
Every so often you'll want to clean out the first aid kit. Get rid of any garbage that may have accumulated.
If it's in some sort of cabinet, remove everything and wipe down the shelves. People may have been sick or bleeding when they visited the cabinet, so you'll want to wear some protective gloves and sanitize the kit.
Once your kit is put together and in place, you'll want to make sure your employees are educated! Train them on where to find the supplies and when to use them. Make sure to add this to your onboarding process for new employees.
You may also wish to train your employees on simple first aid procedures. You could do this in the form of a lunch-and-learn or just as a simple segment in a regular meeting.
One of the best first-aid related trainings is teaching your employees injury prevention. This includes topics like self-care and desk ergonomics. Give your employees are real "hands-on" treat by bringing massage into the office! It'll help prevent common office injuries and show them how much you care.