- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

Notes from the field: You really don’t need a designer first-aid kit

When I do my mock OSHA inspections, I always ask to see the staff first-aid kit. The majority of the time the staff will tell me they use the STAT kit required by the insurance carriers.

I proceed to inform them that OSHA regulations/guidelines pertain to the employees, not the patients. OSHA requires that all medical workplaces have supplies to handle minor emergencies. OSHA requires a separate, readily available, first-aid kit for employee injuries.

During this last inspection, the manager smiled broadly and stated that she had personally bought the first-aid kit. She left the room to retrieve the kit.

The Manager returned with a metal box that had a handle. It had the writing “approved by OSHA” printed on the front.  Everything in it was a brand name item, individually wrapped.  The cost? $75.00!

I hated to burst her bubble, but kindly told her that her first-aid kit was over the top.  I told her that OSHA was just as happy with a plastic lunch box style first-aid kit that can be purchased at any local department store for about $10.00.

As long as the required contents are included in the kit, this less expensive version is also “approved” by OSHA. The required contents are:

Remember to clearly mark the box as “Staff First-Aid Kit,” and store it in a location that can be reached and seen by all staff members.