Accidents happen everywhere, but the key to keeping control of the situation is often good planning. A small accident in the workplace can turn into a major catastrophe when individuals are not prepared and do not have the proper first aid supplies on hand.
Small Accidents with Big Consequences
Some accidents could appear small and non-consequential at first, but without proper first aid administration these small injuries could turn serious. For example an employee in a packing/shipping department might nick their hand on a cutter. There is little blood or pain, so there is no attention paid to it. However, without cleaning and applying a simple triple anti-biotic ointment being applied at time of injury the individual could get an infection. Even something that small can translate into problems for business owners. That is why every injury should be evaluated and a well-stocked first aid kit should be nearby to ensure that the person gets the assistance they need.
Workers Compensation Issues
When a workplace does not have adequate first aid supplies on hand or safety services to deal with work related injuries, there can be big consequences later on. If an employee does receive a substantial injury, and there are not sufficient first aid supplies to lessen the degree of the injury, the company could be putting themselves at risk of a lawsuit. Workplaces are required by law to provide a safe work environment. Safe does not just mean a low percentage of accidents, it also means that when an accident does take place there are supplies and properly trained personnel on site to help the employee.
Some Overlooked Details
Most workplaces have very detailed safety policies, but when it comes to policy on first aid supplies things can get very vague. If a company requires that first aid supplies be on site, this still leaves a lot of questions.
Where should the supplies be? There should be first aid supplies available in all major regions of the workplace. Individuals in each region should know where the supplies are kept and how to get to them quickly. Supplies should never be so far away that they could not be retrieved in a few seconds. This usually means that multiple first aid kits need to be placed around the workplace.
Is the packaging bi-lingual? This is something that is very often overlooked, but should be taken into consideration when purchasing supplies. You really have no way of knowing who might be using the supplies during an emergency so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Who is in charge of refreshing the kit? After an emergency has taken place the used supplies will need to be replaced. There should be one person in charge of restocking each kit when necessary.