NELCO First Aid, Inc.
20 4th St E, West Fargo, ND 58078
701-280-2092 or email@example.com
Our Purpose: Because accidents happen, we deliver convenience, compliance and peace of mind to your business and your employees. Safety is all we do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a consulting physician required to approve first aid supplies on site?
A: No. According to 29 CFR 1910.151, first aid supplies do not need to be approved by a consulting physician. They should, however, be selected by a person competent in first aid and knowledgeable of the hazards found in the specific workplace.
Q: Is it required that first aid kits be regularly inspected to ensure that contents are complete and up to date?
A: Yes. First aid kits should be regularly inspected to ensure they are full, in good condition and that contents that have expiration dates have not expired. The contents list for the first aid kits should be periodically reviewed to ensure that it meets the needs of the workplace and hazards faced at all times.
Q: Can over-the-counter medicine be put in first aid kits?
A: Over-the-counter medicine can be put in first aid kits if packaged in single-dose, tamper-evident packaging and labeled as required by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Over-the-counter drug products should not contain ingredients known to cause drowsiness.
Sources for More Information
OSHA Medical Services and First Aid regulation, 29 CFR 1910.151
International Safety Equipment Association
1901 North Moore Street, Ste. 808,
Arlington, VA 22209-1762
First Aid Cabinet Requirements
Within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) medical services and first aid regulation (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.151) paragraph (b) states: “In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available.”
Performance requirements and contents of first aid kits are given in the American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA) Z308.1 American National Standard – Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies standard. ANSI standards become mandatory only when they are adopted by OSHA. ANSI Z308.1 has not been adopted by OSHA. However, OSHA has often referred employers to ANSI Z308.1 as a source of guidance for the minimum requirements for first aid kits and does so in Appendix A to 1910.151 – First aid kits (Non-Mandatory).
On April 15, 2022, ANSI approved the latest edition of ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2021. The 2021 edition is the sixth revision of this voluntary consensus standard that was first published in 1978. It became effective on October 15, 2022.
Several notable updates have been made in the 2021 edition:
A foil blanket has been added as a mandatory item for both Class A and B kits based on an assessment of similar international standards and because of the multiple purposes they can serve.
More specificity has been included for tourniquets to distinguish them from those types of bands used to draw blood. Arterial tourniquets that meet this Standard utilize a method such as a ratchet or a windlass to reach full occlusion. A blood drawing tourniquet is insufficient to meet this criteria.
Appendix B (informative) now includes guidance on separately packaged bleeding control kits and other first aid supplies, ongoing maintenance and unitized kits:
Bleeding control kits contain more advanced first supplies to immediately treat victims with life-threatening external bleeding injuries.
Each work environment is unique. Therefore, it is expected that first aid kit contents will be augmented with required additional items or additional quantities of required supplies base upon hazards that may exist.
Kits should be inspected at least monthly or following a first aid incident when product is used to ensure that they are full, in usable condition and that the contents have not expired. Cabinet surfaces should be disinfected regularly, during restocking or following any first aid incident when product has been used.
It is recommended that items be easily identified and well organized. Unitized first aid kits contain supplies arranged in uniform-size boxes and color-coded to help simplify reorganization and restocking.
Appendix C (informative) has been added to assist employers with:
Conducting workplace hazard assessments to first determine if a Class A or Class B kit best fits the types of identified or potential hazards and the associated risks. All workplaces are unique. Therefore, additions to the Class A or Class B minimum requirements may be needed.
It also includes guidance on the need to address the proximity of first aid supplies to workers. There are a variety of response time recommendations. In a letter of interpretation from January 2007, OSHA defines near proximity to first aid as “In areas where accidents resulting in suffocation, severe bleeding, or other life-threatening injury or illness can be expected, "near proximity" is interpreted as the ability to respond and start to administer first aid within 3 to 4 minutes. In other circumstances, i.e., where a life-threatening injury is an unlikely outcome of an accident, a longer response time, such as 15 minutes, is acceptable.” Additionally, the Hartford Consensus, published by the American College of Surgeons in 2016, states that victims with life-threatening external bleeding must be treated immediately at the point of wounding.
Appendix C.3 addresses over the counter (OTC) medications. These can be put in first aid kits if packaged in single-dose, tamper-evident packaging and labeled as required by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. OTC drugs should not contain ingredients known to cause drowsiness. Also, if the workplace hazard assessment reveals that workers may be exposed to elements that could cause allergic reactions, insect stings and bites, poison ivy skin rashes, heat rashes, etc., employers should consider adding products that address these concerns to the first aid kits.
Classes and Types of First Aid Kits and Required Supplies
Below is a list of the minimum required components of the Class A and Class B kits. The quantity and size specifications of these components are the minimum necessary to comply with the 2021 standard. Class A kits are designed to deal with the most common types of workplace injuries. Class B kits are designed to deal with injuries in more complex or high-risk environments and contain a broader range and quantity of supplies.
ANSI/ISEA Z308.1 -2021 - Classes of First Aid Kits and Required Contents
First Aid Supply
Class B Kits
Adhesive Bandage 50 1 x 3 inches (in)
Adhesive Tape 2 2.5 yards (yds)
Antibiotic Application 25 0.5 gram (g)
Antiseptic 50 0.5 g
Breathing Barrier 1
Burn Dressing (gel soaked) 2 4 x 4 in
Burn Treatment 25 0.9 g
Cold Pack 2 4 x 5 in
Eye Covering (with means of attachment) 2 2.9 square in
Eye/Skin Wash 1 1 fluid oz 1 4 fluid oz
Foil Blanket 1 52 x 84 in
First Aid Guide 1
Hand Sanitizer 20 0.9 g
Medical Exam Gloves 4 pair
Roller Bandage 2 2 in x 4 yds 1 4 in x 4 yds
Splint 1 4 x 2.4 in
Sterile Pad 4 3 x 3 in
Tourniquet 1 1.5 in (width)
Trauma Pad 4 5 x 9 in
Triangular Bandage 2 40 x 40 x 56 in
First aid kit containers are classified by portability, the ability to be mounted, resistance to water, and corrosion and impact resistance.
Type I: Intended for use in stationary, indoor applications where kit contents have minimal potential for damage. These kits are not intended to be portable and should have a means for mounting in a fixed position. Some applications for Type I first aid kits are general indoor use, office use or use in a light manufacturing facility. First aid cabinets fall in this classification.
Type II: Intended for portable use in indoor applications where there is potential for damage to kit supplies due to environmental factors and rough handling is minimal. Some applications for Type II first aid kits are general indoor use or use in office or manufacturing environments.
Type III: Intended for portable use in mobile indoor and/or outdoor settings where there is potential for damage of kit supplies due to environment is not probable. These kits should have the means to be mounted in a fixed position and have a water-resistant seal. Typical applications are general indoor use and sheltered outdoor use.
Type IV: Intended for portable use in mobile industries and/or outdoor settings where there is potential for damage to kit supplies due to environmental factors and rough handling is significant. These kits must have a means to be mounted in a fixed position and must be corrosion, moisture and impact resistant (meet the performance requirements of ANSI/ISA Z308.1-2021 Section 5.2.5). Typical applications for Type IV first aid kits include the transportation, utility and construction industries, and the armed forces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What first aid kit labeling and markings are required?
A: Section 7 of ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2021 addresses labeling and marking of first aid kits. Each kit must be labeled with its contents and their locations must be visibly marked. All labeling and markings must be legible, permanent and if adhesive labels are used they must not be easily removed.
Q: Is bloodborne pathogen-related personal protective equipment required in first aid kits?
A: No, but OSHA does recommend it in 29 CFR 1910.151 Non-Mandatory Appendix A: “If it is reasonably anticipated that employees will be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials while using first aid supplies, employers are required to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in compliance with the provisions of the occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens standard, 1910.1030(d)(3). This standard lists the appropriate PPE for the type of exposure, such as gloves, gowns, face shields, mask or eye protection.”
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.151
OSHA January 2007 Letter of Interpretation
The Hartford Consensus IV: A Call for Increased National Resilience
The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.
The kit containers are classified by portability, ability to be mounted, resistance to water, and corrosion and impact resistance. Four types are identified:
Type I: Intended for use in stationary, indoor applications where kit contents have minimal potential for damage due to environmental factors and rough handling. These kits are not intended to be portable and should have a means for mounting in a fixed position. Some applications for Type I first aid kits are general indoor use, office use or use in a manufacturing facility. First aid cabinets would generally fall into this type.
Type II: Intended for use in portable indoor applications where the potential for damage due to environmental factors and rough handling is minimal. These kits should be equipped with a carrying handle. Some applications for Type II first aid kits are general indoor use, or use in office or manufacturing environments.
Type III: Intended for portable use in mobile indoor and/or outdoor settings where the potential for damage due to environmental factors is not probable. Kits should have the means to be mounted and have a water resistant seal. Typical applications include general indoor use and sheltered outdoor use.
Type IV: Intended for portable use in mobile industries and/or outdoor applications where the potential for damage due to environmental factors and rough handling is significant. Typical applications include the transportation industry, utility industry, construction industry and the armed forces.
Specific requirements for unitized first aid kits have been removed from the Z308.1-2015 standard to emphasize the importance of the contents rather than the configuration. Unitized kits contain first aid supplies in uniform-sized, color-coded boxes as follows:
Blue — Antiseptic
Yellow — Bandages
Red — Burn Treatment
Orange — Personal Protective Equipment
Green — Miscellaneous
When deciding the class and type of kit that may be most appropriate, employers should consider the risks that are present and the potential severity and likelihood of an incident. Based on the number of employees, physical layout of the facility and the remoteness to emergency services, employers should also consider whether multiple first aid kits are needed. These considerations also come into play when determining if a kit needs to be supplemented with additional supplies. The selection of these items should be based on the recommendation of a person competent in first aid who is aware of the hazards faced and the number of employees at the worksite.
Maintenance and Inspection
To ensure the completeness and usable condition of all supplies, first aid kits should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Some supplies may have expiration dates; any that are beyond that marked date should be replaced.
Marking and Labeling
All labels and markings must be legible and permanent. Each kit and/or location must be visibly marked. Each kit must also have a label with the following information presented, as applicable, in at least a six-point font:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) medical services and first aid regulation, 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.151(b) states, "In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available."
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) American National Standard—Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies (ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2015)—establishes minimum performance requirements for first aid kits and their supplies. First aid kits are classified based on the assortment and quantity of first aid supplies intended to deal with most types of injuries and sudden illnesses that may be encountered in the workplace. These may include major and minor wounds, minor burns, sprains and strains, and eye injuries. As each work environment is unique, it is expected that the contents of each kit will be supplemented as needed based upon the recommendations of a person competent in first aid.
The nonmandatory 29 CFR 1910.151 Appendix A refers to ANSI Z308.1-1998, Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits. Since Appendix A was added, ANSI has updated Z308.1 many times. The most recent edition was approved on June 17, 2015, with an effective date one year from that date.
Classification of First Aid Kits
The newest ANSI/ISEA standard introduces two classes of first aid kits: Class A and Class B. Class A kits are designed to deal with the most common types of workplace injuries. Class B kits are designed with a broader range and quantity of supplies to deal with injuries in more complex or high-risk environments.
Below is a table listing the minimum required components for both Class A and Class B kits. The assortment and quantity of supplies included in the kits were chosen based upon reviews of workplace incidents requiring first aid treatment, similar international standards and current injury treatment practices. The quantity and size specifications given are the minimum necessary to comply with the 2015 standard.