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Thread: THE PROVISION OF FIRST AID BOXES AT THE WORKPLACE

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    THE PROVISION OF FIRST AID BOXES AT THE WORKPLACE

    We continue to receive inquiries relating to the provision of first aid boxes at work.

    Regulation 3 (1) ; (2) and (3) of the General Safety Regulations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993) prescribes these requirements.

    When should first aid be provided at the workplace?

    The regulation states that "an employer shall take all reasonable steps that are necessary under the circumstances, to ensure that persons at work receive prompt first aid treatment in case of injury or emergency."

    “All reasonable steps” includes the training of employees in first aid skills by a recognized training institution.

    Employees and other persons on the workplace are entitled to receive prompt first aid treatment without unnecessary delay.

    When should first aid boxes be provided?

    The Regulation makes provision that first aid facilities must be provided ‟Where more than five employees are employed at a workplace‟

    Correct placement of the first aid boxes

    "The employer must provide a first aid box or boxes at or near the workplace, available and accessible for the treatment of injured persons at that workplace.”

    How many first aid boxes should be provided?

    The number of boxes required should be determined by the employer, taking the following into account:

     the type of injuries that are likely to occur at a workplace,
     the nature of the activities performed and
     the number of employees employed at such workplace

    What should the first aid box contain?

    Suitable first aid equipment, as listed in the prescribed Annexure. (You will find the Annexure at the back of the General Administrative Regulations)
    Annexure Government Notice R.2245 of 7 August 1992

    Minimum contents of a First Aid Box

    In the case of shops and offices, the quantities stated under items 1, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, and 18 may be reduced by half.

    Item 1
    Wound cleaner / antiseptic (100ml)

    Item 2
    Swabs for cleaning wounds

    Item 3
    Cotton wool for padding (100g)

    Item 4
    Sterile gauze (minimum quantity 10)

    Item 5
    1 pair of forceps (for splinters)

    Item 6
    1 pair of scissors (minimum size 100mm)

    Item 7
    1 set of safety pins

    Item 8
    4 triangular bandages

    Item 9
    4 roller bandages (75mm x 5m)

    Item 10
    4 roller bandages (100mm x 5m)

    Item 11
    1 roll of elastic adhesive (25mm x 3m)

    Item 12
    1 Non-allergenic adhesive strip (25mm x 3m)

    Item 13
    1 Packet of adhesive dressing strips (minimum quantity 10 assorted sizes)

    Item 14
    4 First aid dressing (75mm x 100mm)

    Item 15
    4 First aid dressings (150mm x 200mm)

    Item 16
    2 Straight splints

    Item 17
    2 Pairs large and 2 pairs medium disposable latex gloves

    Item 18
    2 CPR mouth pieces or similar devices

    May the employer keep any other articles or substances like painkillers and vitamins in the firth aid box? Regulation 3 states that the employer must ensure that only articles and equipment as mentioned above or other similar equipment or medicine is kept in the first aid box or boxes. General remarks and comments: Articles used for first aid purposes should always be replaced as soon as possible after it has been used. The employer must perform regular inspections of the first aid boxes in the workplace to ensure that the boxes contain the prescribed ‘‘minimum contents.’

    Items contained in the box should also be inspected for expiry dates. All expired equipment should be discarded and replaced immediately.

    A formal first aid register must be provided for the purpose of recording all incidents where first aid had to be provided. A name list of the certified first aider(s) could also be kept in or near the first aid box.

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    First-Aid Box Contents

    Hi

    I would just like to mention that readers should also be aware that there is also a relationship between the content of First-Aid boxes and your workplace risk assessment.

    You will notice that the post above revers to the " minimum contents" of First-Aid boxes.

    When you do a risk assessment for your site (which is also a requirement of the Health & Safety Act), you might identify risks there that will require you to keep additional items in your First-Aid box in order to mitigate those risks.

    Your First-Aid box should reflect the nature and scale of the business you are in.

    Just having the standard/default First-Aid box is not good enough.

    Regards

    Sheqafrica.com
    http://sheqafrica.com
    Sharing SHEQ knowledge is power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheqafrica.com View Post
    Just having the standard/default First-Aid box is not good enough.
    It's a lot better than nothing

    I find we go through a lot of Panado for some reason
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    You do know that you are not allowed to give out any tablets to your employees. Unless you have a qualified doctor, nursing sister or paramedic working on the premises. We also don't allow Mercurochrome, iodine or spray skin in the boxes. Or even venom kits. We use venom to fight venom and we cannot be sure that when a person has been pecked by a snake that the venom has entered the body.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBBEE_CompSpec View Post
    You do know that you are not allowed to give out any tablets to your employees.
    This I did not know! However, it's not like we're prescribing it.

    The typical situation is a staff member has a headache or is suffering from pre-menstrual cramps and asks for a Panado. Now is it a problem if we keep a stock on hand?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I used to have this a lot, especially in the restaurants. I do not stock any form of headache tablets!!!! As an employer it is not my responsibility to sort out your headache or like. I am more than prepared to provide stuff for cuts, bruises etc and have no problem giving yoiu extra plaster or 2 to put on at home, but headache tablets no ways!!

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    Dave, there are clinics in SA that investigate head aches and how they are caused today. If you have an employee with a pattern of head aches you have to ask them to go to a doctor to get a clearence to continue working. Head aches have many ways for their manifestation. A head ache could be a referred pain. A referred pain could be an infection any whereon the body where the response should be medication. A lot of people ignore their illnesses and leave the problems alone. Now the infected part is telling the brain to send out a signal so that action can be taken to heal the infected area. The employee now suffers from head aches and chooses your route to solve the problem. You issue a head ache tablet. The tablet suppresses the pain but does nothing for the infection.

    I have a few articles on head aches. I think one is now very necessary for this forum.

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    You do know that you are not allowed to give out any tablets to your employees. Unless you have a qualified doctor, nursing sister or paramedic working on the premises. We also don't allow Mercurochrome, iodine or spray skin in the boxes. Or even venom kits. We use venom to fight venom and we cannot be sure that when a person has been pecked by a snake that the venom has entered the body.[/QUOTE]

    I would like to know in terms of which regulation or Act that we are not allowed to provide tablets to employees which are over-the counter and/or below Schedule 2.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    As far as I know you're not allowed to physically assist someone with the administering of any medicines or drugs but as long as they're available off the shelf, there's no law against making the drugs like headache tablets available in the workplace and there's no law against the employees self administering the tablets when they feel it appropriate.

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