Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu First Aid Kit

With the recent outbreak of Swine Flu (N1H1), it is important that you take the opportunity to be prepared and to update your first aid kit. Yes...at the first sign of the Swine Flu you should visit your doctor, but your first aid kit should contain items that may prevent you from getting the Swine Flu in the first place. Here are some common items that may help:

  • Face masks - Swine Flu is transmitted iin the air and a facemask is the first line of prevention. Face masks are available in First Aid PPE Kits.
  • Anti-bacterial hand wipes - Swine Flu and other viruses and bacteria are commonly transmitted on the hands. Look on this page for Antiseptic Towelettes individually packaged.
  • Visit this site for immediate shipment of a complete first aid kit or first aid refills.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

First Aid Training

Question:
How often should workplace first responders be required to receive retraining? Should they be retrained every year?

Answer:
It is not a requirement of OSHA that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training take place every year. The OSHA requirement at 29 CFR 1910.151(b) states, "In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid." However, please be advised that an employer has the prerogative to require employee training which exceeds OSHA standards.

First aid training is primarily received through the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council, and private institutions. The American Red Cross offers standard and advanced first aid courses via their local chapters. After completion of the course and successful passing of the written and practical tests, trainees receive two certificates; one in adult CPR and the other in first aid. Basic adult CPR retesting should occur every year and first aid skills and knowledge should be reviewed every three years.

Please visit this link for information about OSHA First Aid Training.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Workplace AED (Automated External Defibrilators)

Automated external defibrillators are medical devices designed to analyze a heart rhythm and deliver an electric shock to victims when indicated, thereby restoring the heart rhythm to normal. OSHA is encouraging employers to make this equipment available in their workplaces.

Public access defibrillation programs that place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in areas where cardiac arrests may occur can reduce the response time up to three to five minutes. The following references provide information for establishing an effective AED program in the workplace.
  • Working Against Time. American Heart Association (AHA), (2003), 504 KB PDF, 12 pages. Summarizes the importance of AEDs and training in saving lives, as well as an overview of the steps necessary to implement an AED program.
  • Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in Federal Facilities. Federal Occupational Health (FOH) Notice 66.100, (2001, May 23). Provides a general framework for initiating a design process for public access defibrillation (PAD) programs in federal facilities.
  • Automated External Defibrillator Program. Federal Occupational Health (FOH). Offers a variety of information on how to establish an AED program, existing programs, and answers to frequently asked questions about AEDs.
  • Automated External Defibrillators Save Lives! American Red Cross of Central Maryland. Includes information on how AEDs work, training programs, and establishing an AED program at your facility.
  • AED Programs. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA). Provides an overview of sudden cardiac arrest with links to information on impact of AEDs, legal considerations, community program components, on-site AED programs, and examples of successful programs.
  • For additional information on workplace safety and health programs, see National Safety Compliance's Homepage

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Workplace First Aid Program

For anyone looking to establish or improve their workplace first aid program, National Safety Compliance recommends you download a free OSHA publication from their website.

Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First Aid Program

This OSHA publication seeks to assist employers in a practical way by breaking down workplace first aid programs into four essential elements: management leadership and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and safety and health training.

After downloading the free publication, NSC recommends the following sites for obtaining OSHA compliance first aid kits or first aid training materials.

First Aid Kits

First Aid Training Programs

Monday, January 12, 2009

Location of First Aid Kits & First Aid Cabinets

OSHA regulations require a workplace to have a first aid kit readily available if emergency medical services are farther than 3-4 minutes away. This somewhat strict interpretation of the OSHA regulations means that almost all workplaces are required to have a first aid kit and also to have someone who is first aid trained.

Regarding the location of first aid supplies, OSHA says...
"The first aid supplies should be located in an easily accessible area, and the first aid provider generally should not have to travel through several doorways, hallways and/or stairways to access first aid supplies. " Larger workplaces may need additional first aid kits to meet this requirement.

For more information about choosing a workplace appropriate first aid kit, please see out blog post entitled, "OSHA Required First Aid Kits."

First aid training programs are also available from National Safety Compliance.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

OSHA Required Eye Wash Stations

The topic of eyewash stations comes up a frequently with employers.

In general, the OSHA first aid standard requires eyewash stations in locations in which there is a risk of accidental exposure to corrosive or caustic materials.

The need to have an eyewash station in close proximity can be determined by looking at the chemical’s first aid instructions, either on the container or on the MSDS. If the first aid information indicates that an exposure to the eyes requires flushing, then you need to have an eyewash station.

If the first aid instructions do not indicate flushing the eyes, then you do not “need” to have an eyewash station–though nothing’s stopping you from installing one.

Please keep in mind, that the small 16-ounce bottles that are commonly found in workplaces, do not meet the OSHA requirements for an eye wash station. OSHA requires continuous flushing of the eyes for 15 minutes. There is just not enough in those small bottles to accomplish this task. The large wall mounted eye wash stations are made to fulfill the exact OSHA requirements.

So, do you have hazardous chemicals or substances requiring eyewash stations? If so what are they, and what safety measures do you have in place? Please also remember that OSHA requires an eye wash station in be in near proximity. If you have chemcials at different locations at your workplace, then more than one eye wash station may be necessary to meet the OSHA regulations.

Eye wash stations are not just about meeting the OSHA regulations. Eye wash stations are about saving the sight of someone who has harmful chemicals in their eye. An employee's eye sight is worth much more than the cost of an eye wash station. National Safety Compliance has complete eye wash stations available for less than $200.