It is a requirement of OSHA that employees be given a safe and healthy workplace that is reasonably free of occupational hazards. However, it is unrealistic to expect accidents not to happen. Therefore, employers are required to provide medical and first aid personnel and supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace.
Although OSHA does not have a specific rule when it comes to the contents of first aid kits, it does reference ANSI Z308.1 Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits. In order to meet the ANSI requirement, a basic first aid kit must include the following:
(1) First Aid Guide
(1) Absorbent Compress 4″ X 8″ minimum
(16) 1″ X 3″ Adhesive Bandages
(1) Adhesive Tape 2.5 yard roll
(10) Antiseptic Treatment Applications 0.9 Gram each
(6) Burn Treatment Applications 0.9 Gram each
(4) 3″ X 3″ Sterile Gauze Pads
(2) Pair Medical Exam Gloves
(1) Triangular Bandage 40″ X 40″ X 56″ min
(6) Antibiotic Ointment Applications 0.5 Gram each.
There is also a list of recommended (but not required) supplies:
(4) 2″ x 2″ bandage compresses
(2) 3″ x 3″ bandage compresses
(1) 4″ x 4″ bandage compresses
(1) eye patch
(1) 1-oz. bottle of eye wash
(1) chemical cold pack, 4″ x 5″
(2) roller bandages, 2″ wide
(1) roller bandage, 3″ wide
The first aid kit must also be labeled with specific wordage, as follows:
Caution! This kit meets ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2009 only when required minimum fill is maintained with first aid products marked ”ANSI/ISEA Z308.”
Although OSHA recommendations for first aid do not include automated external defibrillators (AEDs), current emergency cardiac care guidelines from the American Heart Association does recommend AEDs in most public places. AED’s are an important lifesaving technology and may have a role to play in treating workplace cardiac arrest. In fact, the use of an AED in a cardiac arrest emergency doubles the survival rate of the victim, when compared to CPR alone.