15 items that should be in your first aid kit
Accidents can happen any day, especially in golf course maintenance. Your crew is exposed to a myriad of hazards, so first aid is an essential part of your safety program.
In most circumstances, it will take more than a few minutes to get medical attention to treat a sudden illness, and the treatment given to the patient between the time the illness or injury occurs, and the time medical help arrives could make an enormous difference to the patient’s probability of survival. It could mean the difference between life or death.
First aid shouldn’t be a replacement for proper medical care, but it can be the difference between life or death.
Hundreds of thousands of people are affected by unexpected injuries and illnesses each year, so it’s extremely important that you and everyone on your crew is prepared to give first aid.
The first step toward First Aid preparation is your first aid kit. The kit should contain the basic essentials to treat the most common types of injuries. In fact, OSHA requires that your first aid kits contain:
- Gauze pads that are at least 4 x 4 inches
- Large gauze pads that are at least 8 x 10 inches
- Band aids
- Gauze roller bandage that is at least 2 inches wide
- Triangular bandages
- Wound cleaning agent
- A blanket
- Adhesive tape
- Resuscitation equipment
- Elastic wraps
- Instructions to request emergency assistance
Ensure that your crew is following the 3 P’s of First Aid for proper first aid safety.
The minimum list of fifteen items is only the supplies required by OSHA, however, your facility may require additional first aid equipment, depending on the hazards your crew is exposed to. Your exact location and your proximity to EMS (Emergency Medical Services) also plays role.
Consider including the following:
- Electrolyte replacement to treat heat stress (Is your Golf Club in the South?)
- Foil blanket to treat shock or cold stress (Is your Golf Course in the North?)
- Snake bite kit (Is your Golf Course in snake country)
- Anti-inflammatory medication used for pain management and swelling
- Antihistamine to treat allergic reactions
- Low dose aspirin to treat an unexpected heart attack
- Glucose replacement to treat diabetic episodes (do you have a diabetic on staff?)
- Hemostatic agent to control bleeding
- Hydrocortisone to relieve rashes and other skin reactions
The point to the above list is to get you to consider first aid problems that are unique to your area, golf course or the exact work you are doing.
The following are a few common questions we receive about first aid kits at golf course maintenance facilities:
How many first aid kits do I need?
OSHA states that, “The number of first-aid kits and the content of each kit shall reflect the degree of isolation, the number of employees, and the hazards reasonably anticipated at the work site.” Do a hard assessment of your worksite (or call Golf Safety if you need help) and then determine where your kits should be located. Ensure that they are easily accessible and within reach.
Every second counts in an emergency situation, knowing which tools to use and where to locate them will ensure that your crew is safely protected.
Where should my first aid kit be stored?
Having one kit in the Maintenance Facility may be fine for a single compact golf course but if you manage a 36-hole links style course you should consider more. Portable kits in waterproof cases are a great idea for managers carts and project sites. Your first aid kit should be readily available in the event of an emergency – it should be easy to access, and every person on your team should know where each kit is located. There should be a first aid kit at each worksite
OSHA requires at logging operations that you have a first aid kit at each area where trees are being cut, at every active landing, and on every employee transport vehicle. While not required at Golf Clubs, it’s a good idea to consider.
What are the maintenance requirements?
Every first aid kit at your site should be fully stocked and keep all contents in a serviceable condition. Be sure to restock every kit after use, and to periodically inspect them.
The main rule of first aid safety is to always keep your first aid kit fully stocked.
What shouldn’t be in my first aid kit?
Given that sensitivities and allergies vary, there are certain medications that you should NOT have in your first aid kit as they could do more harm than good. Ordinary pain killers should not be available in your first aid kits. You’ll also want to keep a record of your crew’s allergies and take that into consideration when stocking your kit. If someone is allergic to latex, for example, you may want to ensure that you’re stocked with non-latex gloves.
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