Serving Colorado's Counties

Technical Update vol. 26 no. 48 - Workplace First Aid Kits

November 29, 2022

Emergency first aid kits are designed to treat injuries or sudden illnesses before emergency medical care is available. Kits should be stored in an easily accessible location and comply with the minimum requirements described by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A general-use first aid kit should include the following:

  • Absorbent compress, 32 sq. in. (1)
  • Adhesive bandages,1 x 3 in. (16)
  • Adhesive tape, 5 yd. (1)
  • Antiseptic, 0.5g application (10)
  • Burn treatment, 0.5g application (6)
  • Medical exam gloves, (2 pairs)
  • Sterile pad, 3 x 3 in. (4)
  • Triangular bandage, 40 x 40 x 56 in. (1)

Customize First Aid Kits

First aid kits can and should be customized for specific workplace hazards. Use the following colors to indicate what kind of emergency supplies each kit contains: red for burns, blue for antiseptics, and yellow for bandages. Place the kits in a highly visible area and ensure that all employees know where they are located and which color-coded kit is for a particular emergency.

Types of First Aid Kits

Evaluate hazards specific to your workplace to determine what kit and container you need. ANSI/ISEA Z308. 1-2021 sets minimum requirements for first aid kits based on the assortment of items, the quantity of items, the number of people the kit is expected to serve, the complexity of the environment, and the level of site hazards. Class A kits provide products for common workplace injuries (e.g., major/minor wounds, minor burns, eye injuries). A Class B kit includes all of the components of the Class A kit in larger quantities and with the addition of a splint and a tourniquet.

The organization also categorizes first aid kit containers as follows: 

  • Type I Kits: for stationary use in indoor settings
  • Type II Kits: for portable use in indoor settings
  • Type III Kits: for portable use in mobile industries and/or outdoor settings
  • Type IV Kits: for portable use in mobile industries and/or outdoor settings where damage to the kit is likely because of environmental factors and rough handling

Maintaining First Aid Kits

OSHA recommends that a specific person be assigned responsibility for choosing and maintaining first aid kits. This includes choosing the type and amount of first aid supplies needed for a specific job site. Kits should be inspected and restocked twice a month. 

What This Means for Counties

Medical emergencies can and do happen at work, and having a well-stocked first aid kit can help bridge the gap between an injury and emergency personnel’s arrival. For more information, contact CTSI at (303) 861 0507.

A PDF of this Technical Update is available here.

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