Recognizing the inherent danger and liability in undersupplied first aid kits, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) recently recommended fundamental changes to the ANSI/ISEA standard Z308.1.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) American National Standard – Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies (ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2015) establishes minimum performance requirements for first aid kits and their supplies.
First aid kits are classified based on the assortment and quantity of first aid supplies intended to deal with most types of injuries and sudden illnesses that may be encountered in the workplace.
When the standard came up for review in 2015, a new ISEA committee was assembled to review the existing standard with an eye toward possible improvements. When it assessed recent data showing a rising number of injuries for which first aid was applicable, the committee recognized an opportunity to make important changes to the way America’s workplaces approach injuries.
Among their findings was that the prior standard left room for employers to meet the minimum requirement, yet be woefully undersupplied in the event of an injury.
The committee carefully considered the standard’s mission—to protect employees through injury readiness—and brainstormed new ways to help make the standard better support its mission.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.5 million nonfatal occupational injuries were recorded in 2013. When employers lack sufficient first aid supplies, they expose workers to increased risk of infection and other negative outcomes, including additional medical fees and lost wages, while exposing themselves to myriad direct and indirect expenses that range from medical and legal costs to workers’ compensation and lost productivity.