Have you checked your workplace first aid kits in the last 12 months? In Australia, it is a legal requirement for workers to have access to a workplace first aid kit at all times. The first aid kit must be stocked with first aid supplies suited to the environment and the hazards at the workplace, and the quantity of supplies should be sufficient for every person at that place of work.
This year, the focus of Workplace First Aid Kit Week is “Refilled and Ready”. We are reminding all workplaces to check their first aid kits for out-of-date, perished or insufficient workplace first aid supplies, and then refill them ready for use.
During Workplace First Aid Kit Week 2019, (2-7 September) Brenniston is offering 30% off all workplace first aid kit refills ordered online. Because when workplace first aid kits are properly refilled, they’re ready for any workplace emergency.
Are your workplace first aid kits ready for an emergency?
Safe Work Australia’s First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice applies to all Australian workplaces, regardless of size or type. The Code of Practice recommends nominating a workplace first aider or full-time employee to consistently check that the workplace first aid kits are ready to use by:
− monitoring usage of the first aid kit and ensuring used items are replaced as soon as practicable after use
− carrying out inspections after each use or, if the kit is not used, at least once every 12 months, to ensure it contains a complete set of the required items. An inventory list in the kit should be signed and dated after each check
− ensuring items are in working order, are within their expiry dates, show no signs of deterioration and that sterile products are sealed and have not been tampered with.
Why check your workplace first aid kits?
Whether your workplace first aid kits come in containers or cabinets, bags or pouches, or are wall-mounted or portable, checking that they’re correctly stocked and ready to use at all times is essential.
Our top tips for checking workplace first aid kits:
- Monitor product usage and types of injury
When checking supplies, pay attention to the rate and quantity of products used. This will help you prepare for an emergency by never running out of stock. Keep records of the types of injuries occurring at your workplace to inform changes in work and safety processes, making your work a safer place.
- Check that workplace first aid supplies are in premium condition
Damaged, soiled or unsealed supplies should be removed from the kit. Ideally, your workplace first aid kit should carry single-use items like sachets and wipes, to prevent cross-contamination. Eyewash ampoules and bottles must be thrown out immediately after first use.
- Check expiry dates of workplace first aid supplies
Almost all supplies in a workplace first aid kit have a shelf life. Items like sprays, wipes, eyewash, gloves and even dressings carry expiry dates on the packaging. Products that contain active ingredients such as burn gel and burn dressings, tend to have shorter expiry periods than adhesive dressings or tapes. All workplace first aid supplies must be replaced once past their expiry date.
As well as checking expiry dates, check for completeness – workplace first aid supplies may have been used and not replaced. Your workplace first aid kits should each contain a contents list to ensure the required items and the correct quantity, are stocked.
What happens to workplace first aid supplies when they expire?
Almost everything in a workplace first aid kit, from gels, sprays, bandages and even gloves, expires eventually.
Adhesive dressings can lose their bond, antiseptics dry out, gloves break down and are no longer protective. Elastic bandages can lose their tension and saline can become compromised.
Expired workplace first aid supplies can jeopardise a patient’s outcome in an emergency. If an employee, customer or visitor suffers an injury and your workplace first aid kits are not fully stocked with up-to-date and ready-to-use equipment, you may struggle to successfully apply first aid.
Failure to apply basic first aid such as stemming the flow of blood, cooling a burn in the absence of running water or slowing the venom from a snakebite can result in serious and sometimes fatal consequences.
What’s the best way to maintain workplace first aid kits?
It’s essential that your workplace meets Work Health and Safety regulations with first aid kits ready to provide first aid when required.
Implementing a regular maintenance plan for your workplace first aid kits ensures that if someone suffers an injury or health emergency, they will be able to receive critical first aid in the initial moments.
Any workplace can run a self-audit system where a nominated First Aider or full-time employee is responsible for consistently monitoring and maintaining its workplace first aid kits.
Well maintained workplace first aid kits are always ready for a first aid emergency.
When self-auditing workplace first aid kits:
- keep an itemised contents list in each workplace first aid kit to monitor re-stocking requirements
- re-stock first aid supplies as soon as they have been used,
- ensure items have not deteriorated, remain sealed and are within their expiry date,
- ensure workplace first aid kits don’t contain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofin
- determine a fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or bi-annual inspection schedule.
Does Brenniston offer workplace first aid kit checks?
Take the stress out of keeping your first aid kits up-to-date and fully compliant by booking a Brenniston Workplace First Aid Kit Check.
At Brenniston we offer customised Workplace First Aid Kit Checks with a First Aid Kit Auditor who will review your kits for compliance, check for expired stock and design a program to manage your first aid supplies, particularly in high-turnover kits.
Our experienced First Aid Kit Auditors will recommend which first aid kit or supplies are best suited to your workplace activities, staff levels and potential hazards - saving you time, stress and unnecessary expense.
Call Brenniston Customer Care on 1300 730 079 to arrange a workplace first aid kit audit.
To order workplace first aid supplies:
- Go to www.brenniston.com.au
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone 1300 730 079
- Fax 1300 778 960
Your workplace first aid and safety supplies will be despatched within 48 hours when you place your order between 8am and 12pm Monday to Friday, product availability pending.Average delivery time is 3 business days.