Workplace First Aid Kits Require Updates to Meet Industry Standard

ISEA Offering Free Webinar on May 12 to Learn About Vital Updates and How to Stay Compliant

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has received American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval for ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2021 American National Standard for Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies. This revision, the fifth since the standard was first published in 1978, builds upon the initial objective to ensure that items needed to treat the most common types of injuries and sudden illnesses encountered in the workplace are readily accessible and available.

The effective date of this standard is October 15, 2022. Thereafter, first aid kits in compliance with this standard shall contain the required supplies, and the supplies shall meet the applicable performance requirements.

“Employers should begin to check their first aid cabinets against the new standard, and make the recommended changes,” said Todd VanHouten, Director of Product Development & Innovation at Cintas First Aid & Safety, and Chair of the ISEA First Aid Product Group. “While compliance with the standard is recommended, updating first aid stations, kits and protocols goes beyond compliance. The discussions and recommendations in this standard can help guide an organization’s overall first aid program, ultimately helping to provide proper and timely treatment for all employees.”

This edition retains the kit classification (Class A or Class B, based on workplace environment) established in 2015 and includes several notable updates:

  • A Foil Blanket is Now Mandatory
    This was considered based on an assessment of similar international standards and in recognition of the multiple purposes that the item can serve, such as treating hypothermia, acting as a windbreaker, or worn as an emergency waterproof wrap.
  • More Specificity for Tourniquets
    The standard helps to distinguish tourniquets from those types of bands used to draw blood, which are not as effective in preventing blood loss, as is intended.
  • Greater Guidance on Bleeding Control Kits
    The standard provides additional details on designated bleeding control kits, which contain more advanced first aid supplies to immediately treat life-threatening external bleeding.
  • Enhanced Workplace Hazard Assessment
    Included in the updated standard is a more robust discussion to assist the employer in assessing risks, identifying potential hazards, and selecting additional first aid supplies relevant to a particular application or work environment.

“Each work environment is unique, and therefore making additions to the minimum requirements of any first aid kit should take place based on the hazards and injuries that could occur at that specific worksite,” said VanHouten. “Conducting a thorough workplace hazard assessment will help employers determine which supplies to augment.”

Join ISEA and its First Aid Product Group for a free webinar on May 12 at 2pm ET to learn about the updated standard, vital updates, and how to ensure workplace first aid kits remain Z308.1 compliant. The webinar will be presented by recognized leaders in the research and development of first aid treatment items and training, including representatives from Acme United, Certified Safety, Cintas Corporation, and Medique Products. Register here: https://bit.ly/3M6lgQc

“Each work environment is unique, and therefore making additions to the minimum requirements of any First Aid Kit should take place based on the hazards and injury that could occur at that specific worksite,” said VanHouten. “Employers should conduct a thorough workplace hazard assessment to help them determine which supplies to augment.”

ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2021 was developed by ISEA’s First Aid Product Group and approved by key stakeholders representing construction groups, technology corporations, testing laboratories, utility companies, and others.

The standard can be purchased for $65 from ISEA’s First Aid Standard page or through any licensed resellers. 

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