Contrary to popular belief, work related injuries are not exclusively proprietary to production facilities where the workers operate bladed machines or manipulate hot or toxic substances. The typical office is in fact one of the locations where injuries frequently occur, whether they are related to mechanical factors or the transmission of infectious condition between the employees. Therefore, the office first aid kit is a mandatory utility for virtually all types of companies. But is yours packed up and ready to address any emergency? Let’s find out more about the main mistakes companies make when designing and maintaining the emergency kit.
Primarily, the most frequently encountered misconception is that all emergency first aid kits are similar in every way. This leads to selecting an inappropriate type of first aid kit which will not be able to solve any of the health-threatening problems that occur. To put it simply, considering the wide variety of kits available for companies (each model customised to suit particular workplaces) it would be a mistake not to base the selection process on the individual specifications of your office. And this brings us to the mistake number two: assembling the kit via the DIY method without having extensive knowledge of the role and functionality of the components.
Why would this be regarded as a mistake? Well, let’s think of it this way: a patient that is suffering from appendicitis will visit the hospital rather than try to operate himself, right? This is also applicable in the DIY first aid kit situation. These emergency first aid kits are created and assembled by expert-level medical personnel who (based on first aid training and experience) can systematically address potential workplace hazards by inserting an efficient solution in the kit. On the other hand, without any specialty medical training (and probably no clairvoyance abilities) it is improbable that your selection of medicine and quick intervention equipment will be suboptimal.
However, even though the first aid kit incorporates a comprehensive range of emergency treatment solutions, a great deal depends on the ability of the employees to utilise them correctly. If the workers are unfamiliar with the content of the first aid kit, then they will most likely stare blankly at the equipment inside during a crisis. Therefore, the role of the company is to provide the staff with at least the basic knowledge regarding the utilisation of the medical solutions found inside the emergency kit. You don’t need to send your personnel to medical school, but they should still be able to differentiate between the disinfectant that should be used for scrapes or scratches and the alcohol.
Remember to Re-stock Your First Aid Kit
Remember that if you do not restock the first aid kit on a regular basis, the equipment and drugs will eventually become depleted (or reach the expiration date). The need to resupply the emergency kit is directly proportional to the number of accidents (and consequentially, the number of uses). At the same time, certain components (E.G. mild analgesics) run out faster than others. Therefore, don’t wait until the entire content of the first aid kit has been depleted before you restock, but rather verify the amount left for each individual component on a regular basis.