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Where’s the closest first-aid kit?

You probably have many safety-related items placed in various locations around the shop – fire extinguishers, respirators, first aid kits, safety glasses, helmets, etc. Unless you have an unusual amount of accidents, there probably isn’t much of a need for these items – and they may be doing little more than collecting dust.

Indeed, some of these items (like some of the medicines and ointments in a first aid kit) may have been sitting unused for so long that their effectiveness has been reduced. Most time-sensitive items have an effectiveness date, meaning a simple inspection will render whether the item needs to be replaced. Someone in you company should be responsible for inspecting these items on a very regular basis.

Even more importantly, everyone in the shop should know where the closest safety items are located. In the event of an emergency, they must be able to quickly locate the needed items – for themselves – or for someone else.

Safety training should be part of your company’s orientation for new employees. At the very least, everyone should know simple first aid techniques. While it may be infeasible for your company to employ medical personnel (like an EMT or nurse), nothing should stop you from encouraging (and paying for) people in your company to attend basic medical classes (like CPR training) that are available from local hospitals. If a serious accident happens, at least someone in your company should know what to do.

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