“First aid is the assistance given to any person suffering a sudden illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, and/or promote recovery”.
Woodworking workshops are places where the risk of accidents is high.
Just think of that razor-sharp saw blade that rotates at high speed on the table saw or flying particles when working with the drill press.
That is why it is important that you have a well-stocked First Aid Kit on hand that contains all the bandages and first aid materials you need to treat injuries.
But what exactly should be in that First Aid Kit?
In this blog, I explain which material should be standard in the First Aid Kit and how you know which extras may be needed, depending on the risks based on your workplace.
This way you can help yourself or others if there is an workshop emergency.
Be sure to download the handy FREE CHECKLIST to help you compile and maintain your First Aid Kit.
This checklist and blog is for advice and help only. Filling and managing a first aid kit is always your own responsibility.
Christofix.com cannot be held responsible at any time.
It is very important to think about the risks of your workshop. That way you can determine how your First Aid Kit is best put together.
First I will discuss the most necessary first aid materials that should definitely be present in a First Aid Kit.
Then I will go over the special risks together with the extra materials with which you can supplement the first aid kit tailored to your workplace.
To give you a better insight into the different risks of a woodworking workshop, I will list the most important here:
- debris in the eyes
According to an AXA study, the most common workplace accidents are:
Wrong move (30%)
Loss of control over a machine (20%)
An accident with a chemical product (16.2%)
A fall on a flat bottom (13.8%)
Breakage or fall of an object (12.2%)
Tips for workshop safety
“Better to prevent than to cure”.
You’ve probably heard this phrase hundreds of times, but allow me to say it once again.
By taking the right precautions, in some cases, you can avoid or make accidents less bad.
When fate strikes, you can offer help to yourself or others faster through the preventive actions you took.
I will give you some useful tips below. If you have any helpful workshop safety tips yourself, please share them with our community by writing a comment below this blog.
Multiple First Aid Kits. A First Aid Kit in your workshop is a good decision, but consider placing several. Place one First Aid Kit at eye level with a clearly marked pictogram.
You know well that this First Aid Kit is there, but that way it is also clear to people who do not know your workshop.
Place a second First Aid Kit low to the ground. If due to circumstances you can no longer reach the first aid kit at eye level, you can always use this kit from the ground.
Also, place a first aid kit in your car. When someone takes you to the hospital you still have all the first aid material available in the car.
Mobile phone nearby. I always make sure that I have my mobile phone in my pocket. When something should happen I always have it at hand.
I reccomend doing the same.
Emergency numbers. Put emergency numbers on your mobile phone. Make shortcuts with which you can quickly dial the emergency number.
Also put a list of emergency numbers in your first aid kit. When somebody have to help you they will have the numbes at hand by opening the first aid kit.
You can use the downloadable checklist for this.
PPE. Use personal protective equipment to avoid accidents. It is a small investment that can avoid major consequences. I always use the following protective equipment as standard:
- Ear protection
- Dust mask for woodworkers
- Safety glasses
- Work gloves
- safety boots
- Blaklader work pant
- Blaklader foam kneepads grey
Adopt a healthy working posture. Make sure you are well-rested at the start of the work. You will be able to work more concentrated and therefore safer.
Try to estimate the risks. Before you start a project or part of a project, think briefly about what can happen. A reflection of a few seconds that can give you the insight to work safer.
Keeping workstations clean, clearing passageways, removing spills immediately.
Order and tidiness are basic prerequisites for workshop safety.
In case of an emergency remember the 3 C’s:
Check: If the area appears safe, check the victim for life-threatening conditions.
Call: Remain calm, and be prepared to give a description of the situation as well as the exact location where responders are needed.
Care: Based on the level of training you have and the equipment and supplies available, provide what care you can until medical personnel arrives.
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What should be in a First Aid Kit
In an workshop emergency it is important that you have the right material quickly.
In this article below is an overview of what should definitely be in the box when you put together your First Aid Kit so that you can help people quickly.
Be sure to download the handy free checklist in this blog so that you can easily put together your first aid kit and don’t forget anything.
However, if you want a ready-made first aid kit, I will go over the 5 best first aid kits to buy.
Put together your own first aid kit
First aid box
As a basis for your firts aid kit, you obviously need a well-sealed box in which all these materials can be put.
Look out for a box in which you can sort the various first aid items. That way you have a quick overview in case of a workshop emergency.
A disinfectant is a ready-to-use product that does not discolor the wound or only superficially. Preferably buy in single-use vials or in the form of a disinfectant spray.
With this plaster roll you can apply compresses and bandages.
Some people may have allergic reactions when using adhesive plasters. It is therefore preferable to use a hypoallergenic adhesive plaster.
Adhesive plasters with a wound pad to cover small and superficial wounds. You can buy this wound plaster on a roll and individually wrapped.
When you buy this wound plaster on a roll, you can already cut pieces in different sizes. This way you quickly have the right wound plaster available in case of an workshop emergency and you do not waste time having to cut.
Sterile Pressure Dressings
These emergency or quick dressings are bandages with a compress for stopping external bleeding or covering a wound. These are used pending further care. Buy elastic bandages with non-stick compresses. Preferably also buy different sizes.
With these elastic bandages you can capture bandage material as well as apply pressure when stopping bleeding. These bandages are available in different widths.
Triangular bandages made of cotton or gauze that are used to cover a wound pending further care. You can also use these triangular bandages as a sling, for example, to support an arm or shoulder.
These gloves protect the rescuer and the victim from the transmission of germs. Preferably buy vinyl gloves.
Stainless steel Scissors
To cut bandages or plasters, put in the first aid kit a good cutting stainless steel scissors.
Stainless steel tweezers
Use these stainless steel tweezers to remove dirt such as glass or wood chips from a wound.
Blanket and/or insulation blanket
This blanket is a thin foil that protects the victim against extreme temperatures such as hypothermia or overheating.
With safety pins, you can capture a triangular bandage safely and quickly.
5 Best first aid kits to buy
First Aid Kit Hard Red Case 326 Pieces
Made by the number one leading manufacturer of First Aid Kits in the USA. 326 pieces of comprehensive first aid treatment products. FDA approved: manufactured from the highest of quality FDA approved facility exceeding safety standards for emergency first aid, for adults and kids.
Meets or exceeds OSHA and ANSI 2009 guidelines for 100 people. Ideal for most businesses and perfect for family use at home.
Fully organized interior compartments provide quick access. Rugged, sturdy, high-density plastic case is impact resistant.
Two separate layers of first Aid for large and small first aid products and tilting shelves designed for easy access and refill.
Wall mounts or folds compactly for storage. Case dimensions: 13″ X 12″ X 4″. Easy slide latches securely locks into place.
309 Pieces First Aid Kit Including Eyewash, Bandages, Moleskin Pad and Emergency Blanket for Travel, Home, Office, Car, Camping, Workplace
It contains 309 professional medical supplies such as Eyewash, Bandages, Moleskin Pad and Emergency Blanket for Travel, Home, Office, Car, Camping, Workplace
High-quality durable bag made of high-quality nylon and the smooth satin cloth inside provides extra great protection for medical accessories, and there’s a thick compartment between these 2 layers provide better heat insulation, cold resistance and greatly improved the durability of this first aid kit.
Compact & lightweight 8.66″ x 6.69″ x 3.51, 720 grams only, easy to carry, small and lightweight that fits anywhere in your car, RV, atv, yacht, boat, jeep, bike or motorcycle. Ideal for home, workplace, outdoor, travel, boat, camping, hiking and other emergency situations.
2-in-1 First Aid Kit (348-Piece) Double-Sided Hardcase + Bonus 32-Piece Mini Kit
The World’s ONLY First Aid Kit with double-sided front & back opening.
Heavy-duty hard case: Built to last in the toughest workplace environments & weather conditions.
348 Items organized into 20 Quick-Access Interior Compartments.
Travel Size, Portable, Nylon Mini-Kit comes with 32 Emergency Items.
Compact & spacious: Extra Space to Add More Items, Easy to Store, Grab and Go Briefcase Style.
Rapid Care First Aid 80094 3 Shelf ANSI/OSHA
3 shelf metal cabinet first aid cabinet. Ideal for job site, home or office.
Fully compliant with ANSI Z308.1-2009 standards and meets or exceeds Federal OSHA Regulations (may vary by region).
White moisture-resistant steel case. This cabinet measures 5.75 x 14.0 x 17.0 inches.
First Aid Booklet offers help and guidance in emergency situations.
800 Total Pieces.
Care Science First Aid Kit Professional + All-Purpose, 351 Pieces
Contains 351 physician-recommended first aid essential for complex wound care + additional supplies including 1 organized carrying case.
Comprehensive selection of first aid supplies, including Medicine, antiseptics, bandages, injury treatments, and more.
Organized shelves + wall mount. Organized shelves for quick access and easy restocking. Wall mounts for easy access in any setting.
Extras in the First Aid Kit for special risks
In this section, I will discuss the special risks together with the additional materials with which you can supplement the first aid kit tailored to your workplace.
Wound ointment: When contracting a burn, you can use this anti-inflammatory ointment to cover a burn.
Eyewash bottle: If dirt or a chemical accidentally gets into one or both eyes, you can use this product to rinse the eyes to remove the dirt or product as quickly as possible.
Bumping and tripping
Cool bags (cold packs): These gel cool bags are reusable and are stored in the freezer. Disposable cooling bags also exist. They get cold when you squeeze them, so you shouldn’t keep them in the freezer.
Plastic bags: together with a cold pack, place the amputated part in this plastic bag, and close tightly.
AED: Automatic external defibrillator for use in CPR.
How often should first aid kits be checked
It is very important to know how often to replace first aid items so that you can always be sure that you have the necessary medical supplies in case of an emergency.
Many items in a first aid kit will have an expiration date that is usually 3-5 years from manufacture.
Items can also be damaged by heavy use, moisture and exposure to the air.
So check your first aid kit regularly and replace all items if they are almost expired or damaged.
After use, you of course replenish the number of items and in this way keep your first aid kit up to date.
So to answer the question of how often you should check your first aid kit:
Do this at least once a year, better every 6 months.
How to inspect a first aid kit
After checking first aid items by best before date, some first aid kit supplies will need to be checked to see if they need to be replaced.
First aid kit
Check the condition of the first aid box yourself. When the first aid box has a zipper, make sure it opens and closes easily.
For plastic or metal, check for cracks or rust and that the hinges and latches are in good condition.
Replace damaged first aid cases immediately so that the contents remain in optimal condition.
As long as Sterile dressings remain sealed and undamaged, they usually do not expire.
If a sterile product is opened or damaged, it is no longer considered sterile and must be discarded and replaced.
Non-sterile dressings should be checked regularly for signs of damage, discoloration or mold. When in doubt, consider replacing it.
Check a roll of gauze for signs of discoloration or condensation.
In case the seal is damaged, but the gauze is still clean and dry, the gauze can still be used but is no longer considered sterile.
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With the free E-Book 7 Deadly Mistakes Woodworkers Make When Setting Up a Shop, you’ll get a glimpse of what to expect from this training in addition to the 7 tips.
Highly recommended to all my fellow DIYers and makers.
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