Those of us who have been involved in sporting activities or associated with sporting events are very much familiar with what used to be called ‘First Aid Box’ in our early days of schooling. If your school never had one, you must have been to the same school us me. Don’t worry too much about that. ‘First Aid Box’ as we used to call it is also known as ‘First Aid Kit.’
Photo credit: allwomentalk.com

But has it ever occurred to you First Aid Kit is a must have item for every home? It is one important thing most, if not all, of us overlook. We don’t really see its usefulness. It is only when we sustained some minor injuries or experience minor headache that we run to the pharmacy shops. You don’t need a very big First Aid Kit for your home. All that you need is a small kit with basic first aid items. Just visit a pharmacy near you and speak to the attendant to help you put one together for your personal safety and that of your family.

The fact is that, you don’t need to be a nurse to have first aid kit neither is it a substitute for professional medical attention. What it does it is that, you’re able to provide life-saving activities on the injured person until a professional care is received. For instance, if you sustain a deep cut, you can at least treat the cut in such a way that you do not lose so much blood. This may require some basic training though and we will discuss it in our subsequent articles.



Just as First Aid kit is a must have for all homes, same applies to organisations and factories. But there are several factors that influence the content of first aid kit. We would look at a few of them shortly.

General risk level of the work place

high or low risk. Construction is considered a high risk company.

Accident history

accident prone company or frequency of accidents determines what first aid kit is required. Construction is one area a lot of workplace accidents and near-misses occur. Near-misses are more serious in health and safety management.

Hazards present in the work place

the type of hazard determines the first aid kit. For instance, fall hazard, electrical hazard, explosion, dust among others.

Presence of vulnerable persons at the work place

pregnant women, minors, hearing impairment, the deaf, etc.

Number of people at the work place

the larger the workforce, the more fully stocked first aid kits you need.

Geographical location of the work place

When the company is close to a health facility, there would be no need for fully stocked first aid kit.

Patterns of work and shift systems

hazardous works follow strict procedures and enough resources must be provided for shifts to be properly coordinated.

Specific procedures required

i.e. some specific toxic materials have specific antidotes or first aid.



Those are the factors that usually determine what items should be stocked in a first aid kit. A company whose activities are considered high risk would have first aid kit stocked with items that are completely different from a company with low risk. For example, telephony services, supermarkets and schools. Moreover, while low risk company can rely on one fully stocked first aid kit, a high risk company such as petrol-chemical, construction companies, mining companies, LPG companies, manufacturing companies will have multiples of first aid kit stationed at various locations in the work place in addition to the following: splints, blankets, stretchers, eye-wash stations, emergency showers, wheel chairs and resuscitation equipment and in some cases, ambulance.

Unlike homes, administering first aid in a high risk company requires a special training. It’s not the prerogative of just anyone except in extreme cases where there are minor injuries. Let me emphasize though that it all depends on the health and safety culture of the organisation you find yourself.

TIPS

  • Know the location of the nearest First Aid Kit in your work place.
  • Get a First Aid Kit for your home.

References:
www.hse.gov.uk
www.osha.gov
www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe
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