Check Your First Aid Kits

Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety & Health Coordinator

It has been a busy year so far with spring planting and all of the farm activities through the summer. As we start to plan for fall harvest, don’t forget to check the first aid kits.  Over the course of time items in the first aid kit get used, while not being restocked or items become expired and outdated. When in a time of need, the worst thing that can happen is to open the first aid kit and there is nothing left to use. A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. Basic items in a first aid kit should include:

- Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- Absorbent compress dressings (at least 5 x 9 inches)
- Sterile gauze pads (at least 3 x 3 inches)
- Adhesive cloth tape (at least 1 inch wide)
- Roller bandages (at least 2 inches wide)
- Triangular bandages
- Instant cold compress
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Non-latex gloves
- Scissors
- Tweezers
- First aid instruction booklet

Many store bought first aid kits will have additional items such as aspirin, sterile eyewash, an emergency blanket, hand sanitizer, and small splints. If any of the items have an expiration date, make sure to replace items that have expired.

One item that should be added to the first aid kit is a specific list of contact numbers, emergency phone numbers, poison control center information, and even chemical spill contact information. An updated list can easily be taped to the inside of the lid of the first aid kit so it can be referred to during an emergency.

Keep first aid kits in easy-to-retrieve locations based on the workplace environment, the number of people that may use the kit, and type of activity being conducted. Keep at least one first-aid kit in the home or workplace, and consider keeping one in vehicles or equipment that are used on a regular basis.

For more information about agricultural safety, visit, or contact Kent McGuire, Safety & Health Coordinator for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, at or 614-292-0588.