The employer’s duty is not only to minimize possible health risks in the workplace, but also to provide first aid in the event of an accident. A pharmacy is legally compulsory in all workplaces, but its content is not stipulated by any regulations. What do employers have to start with and what must they not forget?
The contents of the first-aid kit in the workplace – what are the employer’s duties?
The contents of first-aid kits are not stipulated by any legal or technical regulation, as each workplace is specific. The potential risks must therefore be assessed by the employer, including with regard to the competence of the staff – this applies in particular to the employment of persons with physical and / or mental disabilities.
When determining the contents of a first-aid kit, the employer must be based on the nature of the work done at the workplace and on the number of employees in the workplace and draw up a written document on existing hazards, risks and threats accordingly. Based on this document, the content of the first-aid kit in the workplace is then determined. It is advisable to consult the contents of the first aid kit with the safety officer and the person authorized to provide the occupational health service.
However, this does not end with the employer’s obligations. It is necessary to have a so-called internal prescription for a first-aid kit, which determines the person responsible for its contents and regular check-up and also contains information about the location of the first-aid kit and about the possibilities of calling first aid.
In the case of risk-free (usually office) work, it can be inspired by a car first aid kit to help you get first aid in the event of minor injuries. If necessary, add free-to-market medicines, such as pain, forefront, or digestive problems. While this is not an obligation, these products can help employees greatly and improve their work performance. In high-risk occupations, the most common injuries are burns, corrosive injuries, fractures and cuts, and therefore employers appreciate the possibility of purchasing a complete medicine pack according to the type of operation. If the staff handles sharp tools, a full-fledged bandage package, including a means to stop bleeding, should be a mandatory equipment for the first aid kit in the workplace. In the case of irritant or corrosive substances, make sure that the chemical and eye washings are added to the first aid kit. These should be available on an open wall bracket for possible temporary blindness. Do not forget the risk of burns and buy cool bandages and gels to reduce the effects of burns.
However, there are also many professions that carry very specific risks. For example, in the case of water works or diving work, it is necessary to have a first aid kit for drowning.
Other obligations of the employer
If you already have the contents of your medicine cabinet, focus on its appropriate location and visible labeling. Another duty is to register work-related accidents involving at least one day of death or incapacity for work. Registration means the identification of the causes of the accident, the recording of an accident at work and the measures necessary to prevent the recurrence of similar injuries. The employer is obliged to keep records of accidents at work that are not subject to registration in the accident book.
By law, you must thoroughly inform all employees about the risks and measures at the workplace. Make sure that there is always a sufficient number of first aid staff at the workplace.
In addition, the first aid obligation applies to all persons who work with the employer in the workplace. For example, if you allow the presence of children in the workplace, we recommend that you also have a thermometer, a skin disinfectant solution, but also antihistamines, ie. medicines against allergic reactions.
Regular inspection and possible sanctions
Hazard and Risk Assessment is a key tool in health and safety at work. This entails the need to continually search for security risks, evaluate them and take action. Also, remember to change the contents of the first aid kit regularly according to the expiration date. If new workplace hazards are detected, ensure adequate remedies and medications.
The inspection of the condition and location of the first aid kit is carried out by the relevant Labor Inspectorate. Underestimation of this obligation is not paid – the control may decide to immediately suspend operations and impose a fine according to the severity of the risk from 330E or more. In the event of a serious injury to an employee, insufficient content of the first-aid kit may even be assessed as a criminal offense.