Checklist : How to stock a First Aid Kit

Emergencies can occur unexpectedly.  A well-organized and adequately stocked first aid kit can provide reassurance during a medical emergency. Moreover, this simple preparation has the potential to save lives.

Safe Work Australia, a Government statutory agency established in 2009, requires that all workers have access to a first aid kit in their workplace. Many workplaces find it helpful to use a first aid kit checklist to ensure a safe environment and be prepared for any potential emergencies. The guidelines set by Safe Work Australia specify that these kits should contain basic equipment to treat various injuries, which may include:

  • Cuts, abrasions, punctures, or splinters
  • Muscle strains or sprains
  • Minor burns
  • Open cuts or bleeding wounds
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Shock

While the physical size of the kits may vary, they should be sufficiently large to accommodate all necessary items and easily identifiable. Specifically, they must be marked with a white cross against a green background. The kits should also include a list of contents and be made of a material that protects against dust and moisture. According to Safe Work Australia, the kits must include:

  • Instructions for basic first aid, including CPR
  • A notebook and pen
  • A pocket resuscitation mask or face shield
  • At least 5 pairs of disposable examination gloves
  • Sterile gauze pieces (three per pack) with a minimum of five packs measuring seven and a half cm in length
  • Eight 15 ml bottles of saline solution
  • Ten injury cleaning wipes
  • One pack of 50 fabric or plastic band-aids (or other dressing strips)
  • Ten single-use splinter probes
  • One pair of tweezers or forceps
  • One 50 ml bottle of antibacterial spray or liquid (for germ-fighting purposes)
  • Six small non-sticky injury dressings/pads (sized 5x5 cm)
  • One 10x10 cm-sized injury pad/dressing
  • Three 5 cm cotton bandages
  • Three 7.5 cm conforming cotton bandages
  • One 10 cm crepe bandage (for serious bleeding and pressure application)
  • One pair of scissors
  • One roll of hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • One pack of six safety pins
  • One medium-sized Blood Pressure Control dressing No. 14
  • One large-sized Blood Pressure Control dressing No. 15
  • One Dressing Combination Pad sized 9 x 20 cm
  • One plastic bag with a clip seal
  • Two triangular bandages (minimum width of 90 cm)
  • One emergency rescue blanket (for hypothermia or shock)
  • Four single-use eye pads
  • Access to 20 minutes of clean running water or hydro gel (if clean running water is unavailable)
  • Instant ice pack (for treating bug bites, stings, and soft tissue injuries)

The contents of a first aid kit may vary based on the level of risk determined through a risk assessment. For instance, workplaces with a higher risk of eye injuries due to chemicals, caustic powders, or activities involving flying particles, should include specific eye wash materials and fixtures, such as:

  • Eye wash and shower equipment
  • A deluge facility with a permanent hand-held shower hose
  • A portable plastic hose that easily attaches to a tap water spout
  • A simple spout (for low-risk workplaces)

Similarly, employees at risk of serious burns should have immediate access to first aid materials, including:

  • A telephone for contacting emergency services
  • Cool, running water
  • A deluge facility
  • A permanent hand-held shower hose
  • A portable plastic or rubber shower hose that can be easily

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