It is vital that organizations evaluate their disaster preparedness programs not just per OSHA requirements but also for the safety of their employees and organization. OSHA facilitates the responsibilities for medical services and first aid for ill employees according to the 29 CFR 1910.15. The standard is as follows: Employers must ensure that medical personnel are readily available for advice and consultation, a person or persons on site are trained i first aid, and first aid supplies are readily available. In addition, facilities for emergency drenching or flushing of eyes and body must be present within work areas where a worker's eyes or body may be exposed to harmful corrosive materials.
According to OSHA's 1904.7 (b( (5) (ii) first aid can be defined as a variety of actions including the use of wound coverings such as bandages, removing foreign bodies from the eye using irrigation or a cotton swab, and even administering tetanus immunizations. Minimum requirements for the first aid kit according to OSHA include the following: Adhesive bandage, Adhesive tape, Antibiotic application, Antiseptic, 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), Scissors, Splint, Sterile pad, Tourniquet, Trauma pad, and Triangular bandage.
Remember however, that organizations must also assess the needs of their workplace according to the needs of their employees, state safety and health requirements, and organization protocol.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.