First aid boxes in the workplace

One of the common-law duties of an employer is a safe working environment.

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

In summary the following must be noted:

Where an employer employs more than 5 employers, a first aid box is to be provided.

The first aid box is to be placed near to the employees workplace and be available and accessible to ensure adequate treatment of injured employees.

The employer has a discretion in determining the number of first aid boxes, however in exercising that discretion, the following is to be taken 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 the wotkplace.

The following list is the minimum contents of a First Aid Box as per the regulations:

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
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