The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) mandates certain industries must have specific items in their first aid kit. But for most offices, a first aid kit won’t be enough in the event of a fire, tornado, or other threat. Do you know the location of the emergency equipment in your office? These items should be placed in an area where the whole team can access it immediately in the event of a crisis.
Emergency Must Haves
First Aid Kit – OSHA mandates first aid supplies must be on hand to supply medical assistance “commensurate with the hazards of the workplace.” checked and restocked every time something is used.
- – Band Aids in various sizes
- – Compression (Ace) bandages
- – Gauze
- – Antiseptic/Antibacterial cream
- – Burn ointment
- -CPR breathing barrier
- -Disposable thermometers
- -Instant cold packs and heating pads
- -Pain reliever (both aspirin and non-aspirin ibuprofen)
- -Butterfly bandages
- -Gloves – both latex and silicone-based as some people have latex allergies
Basic office first aid kits are available for purchase online.
Fire Extinguisher – A critical item to have placed near the break room or anywhere in the office where a fire could start. Perform a visual inspection should happen at least once a month (looking for a broken hose or any sign of damage) then inspected by a professional annually and have hydrostatic testing conducted every two years.
Disability Evacuation Equipment – If you have a disabled person in the office, you should purchase a stair chair for going down the stairwell. Also consider what fire alarm system you have, as employees who are deaf or hard of hearing will not be able to hear the siren.
Items to Consider
Battery Powered Radio – Having an official NOAA weather radio is never a bad choice, especially if your office is located in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes. And if you are in such an area, keep multiple flashlights in the office in the event of a blackout. These are battery-powered devices, so it’s also a good idea to have extra batteries stocked along with…
Extended Shelter In-Place Supplies – a crisis may occur when your team cannot leave the office. Emergency food and water rations, portable showers, and emergency toilets are essential to surviving in a high-rise building, as you may be required to stay in place for a minimum of eight hours.
Automated External Defibrillator AED – thousands of employees experience cardiac function failures every year many of which result in deaths which could have been prevented by using an AED. If you acquire an AED for your office, you should consider who from your team should be trained to use the device.
N95 respirator mask – this stronger version of a hospital mask filters particulate matter and different kinds of airborne chemical and biological elements. This is a filter, and not a “catch-all” but would be good to have on hand in the event of a chemical spill.
Other Helpful Supplies
Basic Hygiene – Stocking contact solution, baby wipes, and feminine products are an extra measure of showing your employees you care for their overall well-being. Also, a sewing kit, useful in a pinch for numerous instances.
Extras! – Across the organization, employers should recommend individual employees have on hand extra doses of contacts, spare glasses, or critical medication for their personal use in the event of an emergency.
Things You REALLY DON’T Need
Portable Generator – for the type of situation for your office, you should evacuate instead of attempting to shelter in place for the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Your building should already be supplied with a commercial generator in the event power goes out. If you’re using a generator at home, outside, well ventilated area.
“Imaginative” items – parachutes or repelling equipment might help one person in an extreme situation, but it’s far more likely that people would be harmed than helped.
Preparis Crisis Leaders and administrators can download their emergency kit checklist in their portal under Protocol & Policies. Our company offers a team available for consultative work to ensure your emergency preparedness plans are tailored to each and every employee’s needs. For more information, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 404.662.2950. Also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates on industry news and events.
Marlia Fontaine-Weisse is the Content Manager for Preparis.