2024 How To Inspect Your First Aid Kit

2024 How To Inspect Your First Aid Kit

by ads Converclick on June 24, 2024

Learn how to inspect your first aid kit to ensure it's organized, stocked, and ready for emergencies. Follow these steps to check for unsafe products, expiration dates, inventory levels, and proper organization. Keep your first aid kit compliant with ANSI/ISEA standards.

Why Inspect Your First Aid Cabinet?

The purpose of inspecting your first aid kit is to organize, prepare for replenishment, and ensure everything is safe and ready to use. These steps refer to a standard 4-shelf industrial first aid cabinet, but the principles can be applied to any first aid kit, regardless of size or type.

1. Check for Unsafe or Damaged Products

The first step in inspecting your first aid kit is to check for any unsafe or damaged products. This includes looking for items that are soiled, dirty, or partially used. On a job site, all items should be single-use to prevent cross-contamination. 

This means that a tube of ointment with a resealable cap should be considered contaminated after one use. Open bottles of eyewash or partially used ointment should be discarded. It’s best to stock your first aid cabinet with single-use packages of these products to ensure safety and hygiene.

2. Check for Expiration Dates

Many items in a first aid kit have an expiration date, which is marked on the container or individual package. Items such as sprays, ointments, wipes, medications, eyewash, and eye drops will all have an expiration date. If the outer box does not show a date, be sure to check the product inside. 

Keep in mind that similar items may have different dates. When inspecting or replenishing your first aid kit, remember the FIFO (first in, first out) principle. Always put newer products behind the older ones so they will be used in order of expiration date. Be especially careful when inspecting the pouches inside the cabinet door.

3. Review and Observe the Usage and Available Inventory

As you check your supplies, pay attention to how much has been used. This will help you plan for the future and avoid running out of any particular item. Good observation may also help pinpoint the types of injuries that are occurring, which can identify areas for improvement to create a safer workplace. Keeping track of usage can help ensure that your first aid kit is always well-stocked and ready for any emergency.

4. Arrange and Organize the Products to Their Appropriate Location in the Cabinet

Consistency is key to managing and maintaining your supplies. It’s important to keep your cabinet organized so that when first aid is needed, your crew can easily find what they need in the same spot each time. Know where your supplies are supposed to be and move them back to their dedicated spot – including items in the door. An organized first aid kit saves valuable time in an emergency.

5. Remember These Best Practices

  • Inspect your first aid kit quarterly (if not monthly): Regular inspections ensure that your kit is always ready for use.
  • Sanitize the cabinet as you perform inspections: This keeps the cabinet clean and free from germs.
  • Post emergency care information on the outside of the box or cabinet, including:
    • Site address
    • Urgent care address/directions
    • Phone numbers for the project manager, superintendent, safety, and quality control contacts
    • Phone numbers for OSHA, WISHA/DOSH, EPA, and local fire/rescue
    • List of first aid-qualified people

According to ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2021 – Workplace First Aid Kits (not OSHA/WISHA):

  • Type A must include a foil blanket.
  • Type B must include a military-style tourniquet and hand sanitizer.

Conclusion

Regularly inspecting your first aid kit ensures that it is organized, fully stocked, and ready for any emergency. By following these steps, you can maintain a safe and efficient first aid cabinet that meets all necessary guidelines and standards. Regular inspections and maintenance can make a significant difference in emergency preparedness and workplace safety.

FAQ 2024 How To Inspect Your First Aid Kit

How do you inspect a first aid kit?

Establish an inspection schedule. Check expiration dates – Items like ointments, sprays, medicines, eyewashes, eyedrops, and medicated wipes have expiration dates. Arrange products strategically – Newer products should go in the back; keep items that will expire first in the front.

How to check a first aid kit?

Check your kit regularly. Many items, particularly sterile ones, are marked with expiry dates. Replace expired items, disposing of them safely. If a sterile item doesn't have an expiry date, check with the manufacturer to find out how long it can be kept.

How often should I inspect my first aid kit?

According to CareNow, an accredited urgent care provider with over 180 locations, it's strongly recommended that you check the contents of your first aid kit at least once every three months. If your first aid kit is used regularly, your first aid kit may need to be checked more frequently.

How do you undertake a check of the first aid kit?

Now follow these steps to self-audit your kit: Empty the contents of your first aid kit and check the quality & expiry dates for each product. Remove any products that are expired/damaged. Check the medical instruments (scissors, tweezers, etc) and ensure they are clean and sanitised.

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