Accidents happen quickly, and workers can get severe injuries from what seems like a minor incident. Your first aid kit needs to be fully stocked so you're ready to deal with any injury.

But what, exactly, do you need stock in your first aid kit?

What Should Be in Your First Aid Kit?

The full answer to this question depends on the risks your workers face. If you're stocking a first aid kit for logging operations, for instance, you'll need to make sure you've got enough supplies to deal with severe injuries from chainsaw accidents or crushing injuries from falling trees and tree limbs.

(Learn more in Chainsaw Safety 101.)

But no matter the type of work you're doing, you need to stock some basic items to remain compliant. ANSI Z308.1 lists requirements for two types of first aid kits: Class A kits for common workplace injuries and Class B kits for workplaces with a higher risk of severe injury.

Class A First Aid Kit Requirements

Class A kits must contain:

  • 16x adhesive bandages (1x3 inch)
  • 2.5 yards of adhesive tape
  • 10x antibiotic treatment application
  • 10x antiseptic applications
  • Breathing barrier
  • 4x4 inch gel-soaked burn dressing
  • 10x burn treatment
  • Cold pack
  • 2x eye covering
  • Eye wash
  • First aid guide
  • 6x hand sanitizer
  • 2 pairs of exam gloves
  • 4 yards of roller bandage (2 inch wide)
  • Scissors
  • 2x sterile pads (3x3 inch)
  • 2x trauma pad (5x9 inch)
  • Triangular bandage (40x40x56 inch)

Class B First Aid Kit Requirements

Class B kits must contain:

  • 50x adhesive bandages (1x3 inch)
  • 2x adhesive tape (2.5 yards)
  • 25x antibiotic treatment application
  • 50x antiseptic applications
  • Breathing barrier
  • 2x gel-soaked burn dressing (4x4 inch)
  • 25x burn treatment
  • 2x cold pack
  • 2x eye covering
  • Eye wash
  • First aid guide
  • 10x hand sanitizer
  • 4 pairs of exam gloves
  • 2x roller bandage (2 inches x 4 yards)
  • Roller bandage (3 inches x 4 yards
  • Scissors
  • Splint (4x24 inch)
  • 4x sterile pads (3x3 inch)
  • Tourniquet
  • 4x trauma pad (5x9 inch)
  • 2x triangular bandage (40x40x56 inch)

(For related reading, see Lone Worker First Aid Must Haves: Are You Prepared for Anything?)

What Should Not Be in Your First Aid Kit?

Many people believe that a first aid kit should be stocked with over-the-counter pain killers. That's not a bad idea for your own personal first aid kit, but you should avoid including them in a workplace first aid kit.

The reason? Allergies and sensitivities. Some people have adverse reactions to certain medications or medicinal ingredients. To avoid any potential complications, it's best to just leave them out of your kit. Workers can bring pain killers (or other over-the-counter or prescription medications) to work and take them at their own discretion.

Maintaining Your First Aid Kit

First aid kits need to be checked regularly and restocked as necessary.

Keep an inventory list and routinely compare the contents of the kit to the items on the list.

A monthly inspection of the first aid kit's contents is usually sufficient to ensure that it remains well stocked, though it's also a good idea to review the kit's supply after any accident that required a lot of items from it.

Where Should Your First Aid Kit Be Stored?

In emergency situations, the workers or supervisors administering first aid must be able to have quick access to the supplies they need. As such, you should store your first aid kit as close to the worksite as practical. Make sure they are at an easily accessible height and without any obstructions in the way.

If you have a large worksite, you should consider keeping multiple first aid kits so one is always within close reach.