ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2015, American National Standard-Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies, was prepared by members of ISEA’s First Aid Product Group and leading industry stakeholders, and approved by a consensus review panel of health and safety experts, unions, construction industry and other user groups, test labs, and government agencies.The 2015 revision corrects a minor measurement conversion error in the 2014 edition, with respect to the U.S. measurement for minimum application for antibiotic and antiseptic supplies. The 2015 revision replaces the 2014 edition; therefore, the effective date of this standard is June 2016.

What Are the Changes?

One of the most significant changes from previous editions is the introduction of two classes of first aid kits, based on the assortment and quantity of first aid supplies. Class A kits are designed to deal with most common workplace injuries, such as minor cuts, abrasions and sprains.  First aid kits designated as Class B include a broader range and quantity of supplies to deal with injuries in more complex or high-risk environments.

First aid kits are also designated by Type (I, II, III or IV) depending on the work environment in which they are to be used.  For example, Type 1 identifies kits used indoors and permanently mounted to a wall or other structure; Type IV kits are suitable for outdoor use and must pass tests for corrosion, moisture and impact resistance.

Meeting the Needs of Workers

The multi-tiered approach of designating kits allows employers to make practical choices based on the nature of the work area, recognizing that each workplace differs in potential risk and task load. By expanding the items in a basic first aid kit, employees will have greater access to items needed to treat their injuries as quickly as possible.

Many of the first aid supplies previously identified as being recommendations in the 2009 standard are now required for both newly-designated kit types. In addition, scissors are to be included in both classes of kits and a splint and a tourniquet are both required for a Class B first aid kit.  In deciding how best to meet the needs of workers, ISEA’s First Aid Product Group looked at the increasing rates of workplace incidents where first aid treatment was administered and considered the current practices in treating such injuries.