A major aspect of protecting your employees is preventing accidents, but it is also critical to respond properly in the event that an injury does occur. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a set of requirements regarding first aid, from kit accessibility to emergency transportation availability.
As experienced OSHA defense lawyers, we know that it can be difficult to navigate all the intricacies of OSHA’s first aid requirements so this two-part article sheds some light on the matter. In Part 1, we discussed general employer responsibilities, first aid training, and the standard that specifically applies to the construction industry.
Suggested First Aid Kit Contents
When most people think of first aid, they think of bandages and antibacterial ointment; however, first aid is a broader category in OSHA’s eyes. Not only does it include such items, but it also addresses actions like removing foreign bodies from the eye and administering tetanus shots.
Since such a wide array of items and treatments fall under “first aid,” OSHA does not have concrete laws about exactly what a first aid kit needs to contain. Instead, the administration advises that employers designate an appropriate person to decide the types and amounts of first aid supplies. OSHA also directs employers to the American National Standard ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2015 “Minimum Requirements for Workplace First-aid Kits,” as a starting point.
This list is comprised of the following:
- Adhesive bandage
- Adhesive tape
- Antibiotic application
- Breathing barrier
- Burn dressing (gel soaked)
- Burn treatment
- Cold pack
- Eye covering (with means of attachment)
- Eye/skin wash
- First aid guide
- Hand sanitizer
- Medical exam gloves
- Roller bandage (2 inch)
- Roller bandage (4 inch)
- Sterile pad
- Trauma pad
- Triangular bandage
Kit Proximity is Crucial
Though these are strong suggestions rather than mandates, the requirements regarding where the first aid kit is kept are enforced.
For example, in a 2011 case involving two Texas workers getting killed in a fire, OSHA proposed $221,200 in penalties because the only first aid kits near the jobsite were in an office that was 300 yards away. This does not fall into the category of “readily accessible.”
Work With An OSHA Lawyer
It can be easy for even an experienced construction professional to find themself in hot water with OSHA. The attorneys at our firm use over 100 years of combined construction law experience to defend and advocate for the construction industry. Whether you are seeking counsel in order to prevent OSHA citations or have already received one, Cotney Construction Law is here to assist you.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.