First Aid Kit with dressing material

Workplace First Aid Kits: 11 Burning Questions Answered

Published January 14, 2020

First aid kits have been part of human life for a considerable amount of time: 131 years to be exact!
It’s no wonder, then, that we’re quite curious about them.

A quick look at Quora queries or threads on Reddit reveals that over the time first aid kits have been in existence, we haven’t figured them out entirely.

This is especially true for the workplace. Here, the trusty first aid kit can prove to be quite enigmatic.


Read on to have your burning questions answered so you can make the best decision to meet your workplace safety needs.

11. Who Invented the First Aid Kit?

Because first aid kits are not uncommon in schools, offices and homes, it’s hard to imagine a time before they existed.

But medical care wasn’t always as accessible as it is today.

metal train trail

Image from: Pixabay

While journeying through Colorado by train in 1888, American businessman Robert Wood Johnson struck up a conversation with a railway surgeon.

Their interaction centered on the immense difficulties railway surgeons faced while attending to railway workers.

Injuries occurred frequently because laying the track was gruelling work.

Railway surgeons had to attend to workers using a limited set of medical supplies.

And, if more specialised care was needed, good medical facilities weren’t available for miles around.

After consulting with these railway surgeons across America, Robert Wood came up with the novel idea of having essentials such as bandages and antiseptic sponges in a portable box.

The rest is history, as they say.

10. Is There a First Aid Manual Included in First Aid Kits?

Many first aid kits come with manuals.

These provide information on how to use the kits appropriately, as well as guidelines on handling different kinds of injuries.

You can find first aid manuals online, but keep in mind that these may be a bit generic.

An occupational therapist or the appointed first aider is the best person to advise the most suitable manuals based on your business needs and the type of kits in your workplace.

9. Where Should First Aid Kits Be Stored?

Regarding storage, first aid kits should preferably have a dedicated cabinet.

The cabinet should be clearly marked and within reach.

As part of a comprehensive first aid kit rental service, Alsco offers sturdy, compact, highly-visible cabinets that can be installed anywhere in the workplace.

8. Why Are First Aid Kits Important in the Workplace?

If we’re just a bit more cautious, there’ll be fewer cases of occupational injury, so there’s no need for first aid kits at work, right?

Not quite. Our best efforts do not guarantee safety.

Occupational accidents can occur to anyone at any time regardless of how careful we try to be.

Rather than leaving workplace safety to chance, you must take measures to keep everyone at work protected in the event anything goes wrong.

The best way to do this is by availing well-stocked, properly managed first aid kits.

7. How Can a First Aid Kit Save Lives?

While an injury may be non-fatal, it impacts a person’s physical ability, productivity and financial well-being.

Having a first aid kit at hand allows for a person to be attended to swiftly.

In turn, this reduces recovery time, minimises the severity of injuries and improves their chances of survival.

However, to effectively use first aid kits, one must first receive proper training.

These learned skills can be applied in numerous situations in and out of the workplace.

6. How Many Kits Are Needed in the Workplace?

Ultimately, this is up to you. There is no set number of kits required by law.

You should assess how many kits your workplace requires based on:

  • The number of employees
  • The level of risk associated with your activities
  • The size of your workplace (i.e., every floor of a multi-level workplace must have at least one first aid kit)
  • The frequency of accidents at your workplace

5. Who Regulates First Aid Kit Contents?

In Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower sets out first aid kit regulations.

Everything you need to know about this is covered in the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

Keep in mind that every first aid kit must be:

  • Clearly identified as a first aid kit.
  • Placed in a visible location and easily accessible.
  • Well-stocked and maintained.
  • Frequently checked to ensure its supplies are fit for use.
  • Contain only the correct supplies.
  • Overseen by a qualified person appointed by the occupier of the workplace.

Moreover, the Act stipulates the following guidelines for first aid to be effectively administered:

  • If there are more than 25 employees at your workplace, there must be a first aider available during working hours.
  • Every workplace first aider should be trained and have completed a recognised safety course successfully.
  • There should be a list of all first aiders, who should maintain records of all cases they’ve handled.
  • For workplaces with over 500 employees, there should be a first aid room adhering to standards determined by the Workplace Safety and Health Council Commissioner.

4. What Should a Workplace First Aid Kit Contain?

The specific provisions of workplace first aid kits vary by industry needs.

Nevertheless, certain contents apply across the board, including:

  • Triangular bandages
  • Sterile adhesive dressings
  • Gauze swabs
  • Safety pins
  • 5cm and 10cm crepe bandage
  • Hypoallergenic tape
  • Torchlight
  • Resuscitation mask
  • Saline or sterile water

To ease your mind on whether your workplace first aid kit has all the essentials, simply work with a rental service.

They’ll take care of everything so you can enjoy peace of mind.

3. How Are First Aid Kit Inspections Conducted?

The idea of inspection shouldn’t worry you. All you need to do is review every first aid kit and ensure that all components are safe to use. Do this in regular intervals such as monthly, quarterly and annually.

Reports done by each first aider are vital in keeping track of all supplies. This helps achieve a more effective evaluation of workplace safety tools and procedures, as you have an indication of what needs to be restocked.

The more employees your workplace has, the more tedious kit inspections can become. The process can be both time consuming and prone to error.

A first aid kit rental service helps you avoid this kind of pressure and guarantees that your workplace is compliant. You will always be ready for any outcome.

2. When Should You Get New First Aid Kit Supplies?

Restock your workplace first aid kits as soon as you’ve conducted a first aid kit inspection and your findings indicate that you need new supplies.

Remember, some kit contents, such as medicines, are sensitive in nature. Always keep older products at the front so they are utilised before expiry dates.

Expired contents as well as single-use items must be disposed of promptly.

Once this is done, ensure your records are updated to prevent mix-ups.

1. What’s the Best Way to Get Workplace First Aid Kits?

Good news: You don’t have to keep buying first aid kits for use at your workplace.

Not only would buying be costly in the long-run, but you would have to keep track of inspections and maintenance, as well as changing your kit accordingly.

Renting first aid kits is an alternative to buying that offers you several benefits:

  • Accessibility: You get well-organised kit modules that are colour coded for faster administering of first aid.
  • Customisation: Regardless of industry, the supplies you receive match with your workplace needs.
  • All-inclusive pricing: Enjoy a service designed with you in mind for a monthly fee that covers everything – including limitless restocking!

Are you ready to keep your workplace safe and compliant all year round? Get in touch with Alsco today.

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