Sized to Help: First Aid Kit Sizes for Your Workplace

General Purpose First Aid Kits

Any workplace should come with a first aid kit or two. You never know when injuries might happen, so you must be prepared to deal with such eventualities with some workplace first aid.

What’s not always clear, however, is just how many first aid kits you need for a given workplace. Providing an adequate amount of occupational first aid to as many people as needed is just as important as having it in the first place.

Thankfully, Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations cover this topic in their SOR/86-304 mandate and classify first aid kits based on your employee count.

Type A First Aid Kits

Type A first aid kits often carry enough supplies to deal with minor injuries in a workplace or work shift of two to five workers. They include emergency blankets, face shields, examination gloves, and 10 to 12 plastic bandages and antiseptic swabs to deal with the most common types of injuries.

Workplace First Aid KitsType B First Aid Kits

Type B first aid kits are designed to cover workplace first aid for six or more workers. This wide range allows kits to deal with a broad spectrum of the so-called “injury density”, treating many minor wounds or a few more serious ones, depending on the gravity of the situation. Plan accordingly, and always keep spare kits nearby.

Type C First Aid Kits

Type C first aid kits are required for shifts of about the same size that requires Type B first aid kits (six or more workers), but must be equipped to deal with cases that require a first aid attendant with more advanced training (at least a standard first aid certificate or greater). These kits are ideal for workplaces with greater hazards or more complex threats.

Type D First Aid Kits Type D first aid kits are optimized for personal use, ideal for workers who work alone or travel in small vehicles such as snowmobiles or small aircraft. These kits carry less supplies but are easily portable and can be used with minimal effort.

Make sure your available first aid supplies are both compliant with regulations as well as adequate for any task or emergency!

Fight Injuries in 2014 with First Aid Kits

It’s been over a month since New Year’s Day, and if you haven’t made your safety resolutions yet, now is a good chance to do so. This winter, commit to a zero-accident, zero-injury 2014 by beefing up your safety protocols and equipment.

Of course, it’s not enough just to declare your year will be safe and just hope for the best. When bad things happen, it pays to be equipped for the worst and to have quick access to first aid kits and other medical supplies in case of emergency.

There are many kinds of first aid equipment suitable for any business, but the two most important distinctions to be made when making a purchase is to decide what kind of first aid kits are needed. Make your decision based on your type of business and ask yourself: “What do I and my personnel need to be protected from most?” Other considerations include the environment (closed office or open-air workplace?), the hazards (diseases or accidents, burns and bruises?), and the work being done (professional and desk-bound or physical and machine-operated?).

Deluxe Office First Aid KitFor common offices and other professional buildings, the threats faced by workers are less dramatic, and office first aid kits are the ideal solution:

Office First Aid Kits are optimized for dealing with the minor, everyday injuries common in your average office setting. These include cuts, scrapes and nicks, and an office first aid kit will allow you and your coworkers to hygienically treat such accidents. They also contain supplies needed to prevent infections or diseases from spreading or taking hold, which is a constant concern in the closed environment of the average office.

For more physical needs, the workplace first aid kit contains just what’s needed:

Workplace first aid kits are outfitted similarly to office first aid kits, but have additional provisions for the somewhat more physical threats faced by workers in heavy industries such as manufacturing, construction and warehousing. In those workplaces, the risk of suffering burns or more traumatic injuries is higher. As such, workplace first aid kits often come with burn creams, rescue blankets, splints, and other gears that would be out of place in a calm office.

No matter what your business is, it’s important (and legally mandated) to have adequate first aid kits for all of your workers. Do the safe thing this year and stock up on what you need to deal with any accident!

Facility First Aid: The Basics and More

First Aid body image

First aid is the means by which an initial and immediate medical response is given to a person or persons in need of assistance. In the event of an emergency, knowing how to respond quickly, can greatly reduce the degree of whatever potential risks are involved. In some cases, this properly administered care does mean the difference between life and death.

The First Line of Emergency Medical Treatment

First aid in the workplace must be easily accessible to all those in the facility. It should not take more than a few minutes before first aid can be administered. As such, first aid stations need to be situated in more than one area, especially for large locations or workspaces that include multiple floors.

Minimum Requirements. Regulations and standards for first aid in the workplace often vary by province or territory. These also depend on other factors such as the field of industry and the size of the facility. At the very minimum, regulations require a first aid kit and trained employee for every workplace in every jurisdiction in Canada.

In general, employees must be instructed on proper emergency protocols for emergencies. With regards to first aid, they should be trained in:

  • Identifying where first aid stations/kits are located
  • Identifying an emergency list of first aid responders and other relevant personnel. This should include prioritization of who to call first, as well as location and contact numbers of personnel
  • Familiarity of a list of nearest medical facilities (name, address, operating hours and telephone numbers).
  • Following proper first aid procedures during actual situations.  This includes identifying the types of injuries that should be reported, who to call for assistance, and accompanying the victim until first aid arrives.

Benefits. Here are a few reasons why first aid is important:

  • Saves lives. With proper first aid training, immediate medical action can be provided to those in need. This reduces the number of potential casualties while increasing the number of lives that can be saved.
  • Contains hazards. Though first aid is meant to administer temporary treatment, it is also important to prevent hazardous conditions from deteriorating. Dangers and transmittable diseases can be contained well enough by following the proper first aid procedures until professional help arrives.
  • Increases safety. Since prevention is an integral part of first aid, the knowledge and availability of first aid supplies promotes an increased safety awareness and well-being among people. This keeps them more alert and safe in their immediate surroundings.
  • Relieves pain and other symptoms. Some injuries require simple remedies, like generic prescriptions or applying ice packs. In these instances, going to the emergency room is not necessary to alleviate the symptoms. With simple procedures, first aid alleviates pain and discomfort, at least temporarily.
  • Provides a sense of security. First aid training and supplies help increase reliability and confidence among employees. This in turn promotes a healthy and efficient work environment.

At the end of the day, first aid training and supplies are useful not only to employees and employers, but to their immediate community as well. So let’s remain safe and ensure that our facilities have properly trained and well equipped staff.

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First Aid Kits for the Canadian Workplace

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.

First Aid Kit Infographic

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.

Canada – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

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

Yukon – Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board



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