What should be in a first aid kit?

We quite often we get asked: what should be in my first aid kit; what first aid equipment should I buy and where do I store it?

Well, this comes down to each workplace. Every workplace is different. Is the workplace in a remote area? Is it a childcare facility? Or is it a specialised workplace; for example, entering confined spaces or even high risk like a construction site.

We need to start at legislation, and at all workplaces in NSW, all businesses must follow the Work Health & Safety (WHS) Act (2011) and WHS Regulation (2017), that was published on the 1st September 2017. One of the relevant parts of the Regulation is Division 3; First Aid, regulation 42: “Duty to provide First aid”.

The Work Health and Safety Regulations outline that it is mandatory for all workplaces to have a provision of first aid equipment, that workers have access to equipment and access to facilities for the administration of first aid.

In NSW, SafeWork NSW have released a document to assist with maintaining compliance in the workplace and has published, “Code of Practice: first aid in the workplace January 2020”. This document is a practical guide created in relation with the relevant legislation.

The Code of Practice assists with the practical guide for managing first aid risks in the workplace. This document provides examples of a workplace first aid risk assessment and risk management process.

The first step is to identify hazards of the worksite that could cause injuries or illness. The second step is to assess the type, severity and likelihood of the injuries and illness. The third step is to provide the appropriate first aid requirements, number of first aiders, first aid kits and facilities the workplace first aid procedures require. The fourth step is to review any usage of the first aid equipment and procedures to ensure effectiveness on a regular basis.

This approach will look at each workplace separately and assess each facility individually and tailor the first aid equipment and procedures. For example: type of injuries likely to occur; size of location; composition of the workplace; any high-risk factors such as chemical use or machinery use; type of work being carried out; and the number of workers onsite.

First aid kits are based on the workplace first aid risk assessment as stated above and must be adequate to cover injuries of the workplace and the common injuries such as, Cuts, abrasions, minor burns, fractures, eye injuries, bleeding, amputations, and shock. Extra equipment may be required if workplace is remote, High risk or as per the first aid risk assessment.

The first aid training is suited for all types of industries including childcare, aged care, retail, and warehousing. This training is completed by highly trained and experienced trainers that have comprehensive knowledge in managing facility emergencies and medical emergencies. This training is detailed, nationally recognised and covers common medical emergencies that a business may come across.

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