Accidents are never planned, but emergency response can keep a majority of incidents from getting worse. Your office should always have a first aid kit that is accessible and well stocked to be used in the case of illness or injury of anyone in the workplace. At a minimum, a first aid kit should include sterile eye pads, individually wrapped bandages, wound dressings, disposable gloves, and a pamphlet explaining how to provide first aid. Even in a small office with no obvious hazards, a sudden accident can happen, so someone must always be appointed to manage the first aid equipment and make emergency phone calls. In larger offices with more hazards, it is important to have trained first aiders.
Safety Is the Law
By law, workers must have a safe workplace. It is the employer’s responsibility to determine hazards, mitigate risks, and provide safety equipment. A first aid kit should always be on site, but the size and components of the kit will vary depending on company size and level of everyday hazards. OSHA provides specific standards for construction, shipyard, marine, and longshoring worksites.
In an office with few hazards, you should have a first aid kit and one person appointed to manage first aid for every one hundred employees at a minimum. With a higher level of potential hazards, an employer should consider training one first aider for every fifty employees to respond to common injuries associated with particular hazards and having additional first aid equipment. It’s a good idea to keep a record of any injuries or illnesses that occur in the workplace and when they have happened, and then tailor your first aid program to best manage the kinds of incidents that most frequently occur.
Working Away From the Office
Remember, too, that many workplaces dispatch employees to other locations to work, such as power and telephone companies. In these instances, a first aid kit should go along with the workers, and they should also have a reliable form of mobile communication to the home office. Likewise, if your office has several buildings and employees work in shifts, make sure that first aid is available at all times and at all locations, including not only supplies but that personnel who is trained to manage and administer first aid.
With a well managed safety program, your company can respond quickly to mishaps and prevent more serious consequences. You’ll be in compliance with the law and employees will be more confident and aware, making the workplace a much safer place to be.
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