Are first aid kits in workplaces obligatory?
The employer should be equipped with the number of first aid kits appropriate to the type and scope of the activity, the number of employees and other people present at the workplace, as well as the type and level of risk. The equipment of the first aid kit at the workplace should be agreed with the physician who provides preventive health care for the employees.
It is the employer’s duty to protect the health and life of employees by providing them with safe and hygienic working conditions. One of the obligations under Art. 2091 § 1 of the Labor Code Act is to organize a first aid system.
The employer is obliged to provide employees with an efficient first aid system in the event of an accident and means for providing first aid through:
- first aid points in departments (departments) where works involving a high risk of an accident or involving the emission of vapors, gases or dusts of substances classified as dangerous due to acute toxic effects are performed;
- first aid kits in individual departments (branches) of the workplace – § 44 sec. 1 of the Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of on general provisions on health and safety at work – hereinafter the regulation.
The person responsible for handling first aid kits at the workplace on each shift is a designated employee trained in first aid (§ 44 section 3 of the Regulation). An employee handling first aid kits should definitely have appropriate training in first aid, and also know exactly its contents and supplement it periodically. Periodic checking of the contents of first aid kits should be carried out in terms of completeness and validity of the equipment in accordance with the relevant list in the first aid kit.
The list of employees designated to provide first aid should be posted next to the first aid kit – in a visible, easily accessible place. In addition to the first aid kit, instructions for providing first aid in the event of an accident should also be posted (§ 44 (4) of the Regulation).
The places where the first aid kit is located should be easily accessible and properly marked, in accordance with the Polish Standard (§ 44 section 5 of the Regulation). This marking has been established
in the PN-EN ISO 7010 standard, which presents safety signs aimed at preventing accidents, fire protection, informing about health hazards and evacuation in an emergency. The marking indicated by PN-EN ISO 7010 is a white cross on a green background.
In Poland, the law does not define the contents of first aid kits. It should take into account the type and scope of the conducted activity, the number of employees and other people present on the premises of the workplace, as well as the type and level of risk at the plant. The equipment of the first aid kit in the workplace should always be determined individually, in consultation with the doctor who provides preventive medical care.
First aid kits should contain only bandages and should not contain painkillers and other medications, stomach drops, heart drops, disinfectants, etc., unless the First Aid has a medical education and is authorized to administer such agents.