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By: Stacey Godbold

What’s In (And What’s Missing From) Your First Aid Cabinet?

Safety isn’t a particularly glamorous job. There’s no personal chef! There’s no luxury yacht! 

My guess is that people are drawn to the safety profession because we find the job intrinsically rewarding when we make a positive impact in people’s lives. Also, because we feel a sense of fulfillment that we’re doing all we can to maintain a safe working environment  

But, as any safety professional will tell you, safety can be arduous. And to be truly successful, you often have to occasionally do what I’ll affectionately refer to as grunt work. 

This became apparent to me while talking with Peter Holtgreive and Michael Prautzsch about first aid cabinets and slips, trips, and falls. We chatted on a recent episode of our Sospes podcast (which you can listen to below). But first, let me introduce my two guests … 

Peter is a Process Improvement Expert and Lean Consultant. He works for Partners in Business Excellence LLC. 

Mike is Senior Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator at Probi USA. 

First Aid Cabinets 

In our chat, Peter mentioned how one of his responsibilities is to check and stock various first aid cabinets at his company facilities. And that got me thinking … 

What exactly should be in a first aid cabinet? Surely it changes per worksite, but what are some common items that definitely should be in most first aid cabinets? 

I Googled around, and here’s what I think should be, at a bare minimum, in your cabinet: 

  • First aid guidebook 
  • Bandages of various kinds and sizes (adhesive fabric bandages, patch plastic bandages, etc.) 
  • Pads of various kinds (alcoholic cleansing pads, eye pads, sterile gauze pads, trauma pads, etc.) 
  • Rolls of various kinds (first aid tape rolls, conforming gauze rolls, etc.)
  • Creams of various kinds (blister cream, burn cream, etc.) 
  • Antiseptic towelettes
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Cold pack 
  • Eyewash
  • Burn gel
  • Sling 
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers

If you are your company’s go-to safety person, then you’re probably responsible for stocking all of the above. (Can you see what I mean when I say that safety can be hard, grunt work?!)  

Slips, Trips, and Falls 

In our chat, Mike mentioned a phrase that’s very common in our line of work: “slips, trips, and falls.” Then he listed a few examples, such as: 

  • Slip — a machine that’s leaking oil becomes a potential slip hazard. 
  • Trip — cables running where they shouldn’t be becomes a potential trip hazard. 
  • Fall — changes in levels of flooring becomes a potential fall hazard. 

Again, when it’s your job to prevent hazards like the above, don’t expect it to be glamorous … but it’s essential. And it’s fulfilling! 

Check out my chat with Peter Holtgreive and Michael Prautzsch in which we do a deep dive into safety and lean manufacturing.

Subscribe to the podcast: 

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Connect with Stacey Godbold on LinkedIn 

This episode was produced by Story On Media & Marketing:


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