How to Create a Workplace First Aid Program
When an emergency occurs, having a first aid kit on-hand is crucial to reducing the impact of an injury.
And, in some cases, it can save someone’s life. But what exactly do you need to create an effective workplace first aid program for your business?
Hazards range wildly from business to business, not all of your employees have the same knowledge of health and safety, and who’s going to keep track of what first aid products you need to reorder?
Fortunately, OSHA has put together a first aid guide to help you create a workplace first aid program that makes sense for you. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Assess the risks and hazards of your workspace.
An office doesn’t require the same first aid supplies and training as an industrial plant. To assess risks for your industry, national data on workplace injuries can be accessed through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Another way to assess the risks and hazards of your workspace is to talk to your employees about their health and safety concerns. Have they experienced any injuries on the job, and if so, what kind? Are they concerned about their safety during particular tasks like lifting, climbing or even just standing for long periods of time? Just to give you an idea, some of the top injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work in the private sector include bodily reaction and exertion, contact with objects and equipment, falls, transportation accidents and exposure to harmful substances or environments.
2. Consult OSHA requirements for your industry.
Depending on your industry and access to clinics and hospitals, you may be required to have people available who are trained in first-aid and CPR. When putting together a workplace first aid program, make sure you know what the law requires of your business for the safety of your employees. You also need to make sure your workplace first aid kit complies with OSHA and ANSI standards.
Finally, make sure that you keep up with regulations, because they can change.
3. Conduct first aid training programs every 6-12 months.
First aid training should be customized to your workplace and the hazards that you have identified in your business. Why every 6-12 months? Because there may be long periods of time between learning first aid skills and actually using them, which means that on average your employees may only retain these skills for 6-12 months before they need to be re-trained. The OSHA suggests that these programs should cover health emergency and non-emergency response and should include hands-on training and emphasize first aid scenarios that occur frequently in the workplace.
A few organizations that offer first aid training are the National Safety Council, the American Heart Association, and the American Red Cross. But don’t just accept the training without considering the risks of your workplace. The OSHA guide says: “Some of the noted program elements may be optional for a particular plant or facility. On the other hand, unique conditions at a specific worksite may necessitate the addition of customized elements to a first-aid training program.”
4. Procure and maintain all necessary first aid supplies for your workplace.
No matter what industry you’re in, you should have a first aid kit available to your employees and stay on top of what supplies you might need to reorder. The kit should also be stored somewhere it can be easily accessed in case of an emergency.
The best and most efficient way to get the supplies you need for your business is through a first aid program with SITEX. When you use our programs, you won’t have to worry about whether you have all the supplies to stay compliant with OSHA and ANSI standards or whether you need to reorder. Our unique cabinet design keeps your supplies organized, and we customize our program to your business. We regularly check, monitor and stock your first aid cabinet, refilling any items that you’re running low on so you have the items you need to deal with a medical emergency. We offer first aid kits specialized to specific industries and company sizes, addressing all of the hazards of a variety of businesses.
To learn more about our first aid programs, contact us today!
Being an Employer or Manager Comes with Responsibility
Are you taking the safety and health of your employees seriously? If you haven’t started putting together a workplace first aid program yet, today is the day to start. And if you haven’t reviewed your safety regulations and guidelines or updated your first aid kit in a while, don’t wait any longer. Your commitment to safety is vital in creating a safe and happy workplace.