Everyday, workers face various hazards in the workplace. Even with all the precautionary measures in place to prevent accidents, you have to accept the fact that they do happen. Are you ready to respond in the event of a medical emergency? Do you have your first aid kit?
First aid kits and the skills of your first aid attendants could mean life or death in extreme situations. It could also mean the difference between a minor injury and major complications. It’s this understanding of how critical occupational first aid kits are, that prompted Canada’s implementation of new regulations called the Workers’ Compensation Act or the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
Details of the regulation differ from province to province but the aim is the same. The law ensures that workers receive immediate care in case of workplace injury or illness. At minimum, the workplace should have:
- Appropriate first aid kits with complete medical supplies as stated by the province’s regulations
- Well-trained and competent first aid attendants available to respond at all times
- Disseminated information on first aid procedures
Other provisions may include:
- First aid signage
- Reporting of workplace accidents
- Emergency transport or ambulance
First aid requirements vary but should be based on the following:
- Number of employees or workers per shift
- Types of workplace hazards expected
- Availability of professional medical facilities (i.e. clinics and hospitals)
Contents of a Basic First Aid Kit
A first aid kit for work differs significantly from what you have at home. According to British Columbia’s Work Safe BC website, a basic workplace first aid kit should be stored in a dry environment and easily accessible to the workers. A waterproof container is recommended.
Check your province’s local requirements for first aid kits, training programs, procedures and more to ensure complete compliance to government regulations. Here’s a list of official government sites that specifiy the regulations for workplace first aid kits.
Alberta – Alberta Human Services
British Columbia – Work Safe BC
Manitoba – Safe Work
New Brunswick – Government of New Brunswick Site
Newfoundland – Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly
Northwest Territories and Nunavut – Worker’s Safety & Compensation Commission
Nova Scotia – Government of Nova Scotia Site
Ontario – Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
Prince Edward Island – Worker’s Compensation Board of PEI
Quebec – Publications Quebec
Saskatchewan – Government of Saskatchewan
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