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Keep Your Maintenance Operators And Technicians Prepared And Safe

Standards for workplace first aid kits and supplies are changing very soon, effective June 17. Here's what you need to know so employees have greater access to items needed to treat common workplace injuries.

New First Aid Standard Goes Into Effect June 17

Industrial maintenance operators and technicians must be proficient in many areas including rigging, reading technical schematics, lubrication, piping systems, hydraulics, industrial electricity, problem solving, and welding. The work they do can inherently be dangerous, which means they must also be safety experts.

Maintenance operators and technicians must consistently adhere to safety rules and regulations on a daily basis to reduce risk of injury to themselves and others around them. A readily available, up-to-date and fully stocked first aid kit is key to being prepared. Having the right assortment and quantity of first aid supplies on hand and acting quickly can decrease the severity of injuries and illnesses, even positively impact productivity.

One of our customers, Scott Urban, maintenance supervisor at Associated Milk Producers, Inc., says, “Our Lawson Products rep Darren Mitchell helps us keep our plant running with great quality MRO products. Lawson Products is our go-to for all our first aid supplies with competitive costs and service that can’t be beat.”

Standards for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies (ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2015) are changing effective June 17, 2016.* One of the most significant changes from previous editions is the introduction of two classes of first aid kits, based on the assortment and quantity of first aid supplies. 

Class A kits include contents designed for the most common types of workplace injuries such as minor cuts, abrasions and sprains (offices, schools, restaurants, hospitality, and trucks not in high risk zones). Class B kits include a broader range and quantity of supplies to deal with injuries in more complex or high-risk environments where personal protective equipment is required (construction, industrial, utilities, and manufacturing).

By expanding the items on the basic first aid kit, employees have greater access to items needed to treat common workplace injuries.

Many first aid supplies previously identified as being recommendations are now required for both newly designated kit types. Scissors are to be included in both classes of kits, and a splint and a tourniquet are both required for a Class B first aid kit. 

First aid kits are also now designated by Type (I, II, III or IV) depending on the work environment in which they are to be used. For example, Type 1 identifies kits used indoors and permanently mounted to a wall or other structure; Type IV kits are intended for mobile industries and/or outdoor applications and must pass tests for corrosion, moisture and impact resistance.

What You Need to Know

  • Standard goes into effect June 17, 2016
  • OSHA refers employers to ANSI Z308.1 as guidance for the minimum requirements for First Aid
  • OSHA 1910.151 states that adequate First Aid supplies shall be readily available
  • First Aid Kits should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis as some supplies have expiration dates
  • First Aid Kits are no longer designated by “number of persons” that it will serve

So keep your maintenance operators, technicians and other employees prepared and safe. It’s crucial to your company’s success.


Julie Graham is Safety Product Manager for  Chicago-based Lawson Products, which was No. 39 on Industrial Distribution's 2015 Big 50 List.

*The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) issues and updates numerous standards related to workplace safety. The ANSI and accredited standards developer International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) recently updated the standard for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies, ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2015.