The essential supplies you need to make sure your workplace remains safe and OHS compliant.
Depending on the size of your workforce, you may have anywhere from ten to ten thousand employees, give or take.
What’s the likelihood that none of those people are going to get hurt while on the job? Is there adequate first aid on-hand for when they do?
These are important questions every employer must assess when ensuring that their workplace meets local first aid requirements.
Noting your office’s risk level for injury and providing the necessary first aid equipment to treat each injury is no small task.
However, Safe Work Australia (a statutory agency of the Australian government) does maintain guidelines for the provision of workplace first aid.
They list a handful of common injuries every employer should be prepared to handle, including:
- Open cuts and abrasions
- Splinters and puncture wounds
- Eye injuries
- Small burns
- Sprained or strained muscles
- Bone fractures
In compliance with Safe Work Australia guidelines, these emergency kits must be immediately identifiable.
Your office first aid kit must be marked with a white cross on a green background, and large enough to comfortably hold all necessary supplies.
Your Office First Aid Checklist
What is required for your kit will vary according to the specific guidelines in your area and the risk-level of your workplace.
For example, places with a higher risk of bone fractures or chemical burns will require specific equipment — and a greater concentration of trained first aiders (pun unintended).
Regardless of risk-level, the minimum requirements for any kit include:
- Basic first aid instructional guide
- A notebook and pen
- 5 pairs disposable examination gloves
- 1 resuscitation face mask or shield, for providing CPR
- 15 sterile gauze pieces (7.5 cm long, 3 pieces per pack)
- 8 bottles saline solution (15ml each)
- 1 instant ice pack
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 pair of tweezers
- 1 bottle antibacterial spray (50ml)
- 1 pack hydro-gel burn dressing
- 4 single-use eye pads
- 10 antiseptic injury cleaning wipes
- 6 non-adhesive injury dressings/pads (5×5 cm)
- 1 injury pad/dressing (10×10 cm)
- 3 cotton bandages (5 cm)
- 3 Conforming cotton bandages (7.5 cm)
- 10 single-use splinter probes
- 2 triangular bandages (minimum width 90cm)
- 1 emergency rescue blanket
- 1 pack fabric or plastic band-aids (50 count)
- 1 pack rubber thread or crepe bandage (10 cm. For pressure application and serious bleeding)
- 1 roll adhesive tape (hypoallergenic)
- 1 pack safety pins
- 1 bag-clip seal (for disposable plastic bags)
- 1 large Blood Pressure Control wound dressing (No. 15)
- 1 medium Blood Pressure Control wound dressing (No. 14)
- 1 Dressing Combination Pad (9 x 20 cm)
A booklet containing the information of emergency contacts must be located either in, or somewhere near each first aid kit.
The document should include:
- The names and phone numbers of trained first aid workers in the office
- Location of each first aid kit
- The phone numbers, directions to, and working hours of all medical
It’s important that these kits always remain stocked.
Restocking a first aid kit may be as simple as purchasing a fully-stocked kit, or re-purchasing specific supplies as needed.
Best Office First Aid Kit Supplies
If you decide to go through the process of restocking your kit yourself, you may find yourself stuck trying to source quality, durable supplies. No one wants shoddy bandages and weak antiseptic solution in their first aid kit.
To aid in your search, we’ve put together a list of some of the best-rated first aid kit supplies you can find on our site.
Best for minor cuts and abrasions
These highly absorbent bandages are made with a durable, heavy fabric and latex-free adhesive. They’re designed to conform to the body, and reduce the amount of dressing changes while leaving no sticky residue.
Hypo-allergenic and designed to withstand frequent washing, these bandages are best for use in workplaces where handling food and avoiding cross-contamination is essential.
When choosing bandages for your first aid kit, it’s best to go for heavy fabric bandages. They adhere better, conform to the body and are less likely to tear or fall off during the day.
If unavailable, the adhesion of available bandages can always be improved by further wrapping them with medical tape or microporous paper tape.
Best non-adhesive eye pads
These latex free and individually packed eye pads feature a non-adherent film on each side — designed to reduce trauma to the wounded area when changing dressings.
Be sure to note the size of eye pads that go into your first aid kit. Eye pads that are overly large will cover too much extra area, allowing for infection and causing discomfort to the wearer.
The eye pads should have a moderate size, an oval shape and seamless edges. This way they can fit comfortably over the eye without lifting off and causing irritation.
Best instant ice pack
Unlike traditional ice packs, these lightweight cold therapy treatments can be used without prior refrigeration. Simply squeeze, shake and apply to swollen or strained areas.
High quality instant ice packs will remain cold for about 15 to 20 minutes. They should be a little hard to activate when squeezing. This ensures that the ice packs don’t get activated at any point before use.
Best eye wash
A sterile solution for cleansing debris out of wounds and eyes. Each 15ml ampoule contains a concentration of strictly 0.9% sodium chloride, making it safe and gentle enough to use on wounded eyes.
Eye wash ampoules are more appropriate for storage in a first aid kit. If you do go with eye wash sachets, please ensure that they are properly wrapped to avoid the sachets being pierced open.
Best conforming bandage
These extra-firm bandages support injured or sprained limbs while remaining breathable and elastic. Each bandage comes with convenient built in clips to use when fastening the wrap.
Keep in mind that conforming bandages are often not shipped in sterile packaging. However, the best conforming bandages for your first aid kit will be individually wrapped, mildly elastic, and fray resistant.