Most farms and ranches require multiple first-aid kits due to the many types of jobs and the dispersed areas of work. Not only is it important to have appropriate first-aid kits, it’s vital you and others in your operation understand basic first aid and CPR.
Farm and ranch accidents can be quite severe, and space in a first-aid kit is limited, so choose items for kits wisely. Follow these guidelines complied by Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health Community of Practice when assembling a first-aid kit:
- Include pertinent personal information in first-aid kits for individuals who have specific medical conditions. For example, indicate a certain person has an allergic reaction to bee stings.
- Include the contact information for the family doctor of each individual working in the vicinity of the first-aid kit.
- Incidents could occur at night or in winter, so include items such as flares, flashlights, emergency blankets and waterproof matches.
- In an emergency situation, it is common for people to forget what they have learned in first-aid classes, so include a first-aid manual in each kit.
- For the kits, use containers that are dust-free and water-resistant. Label the kits clearly.
- Check first-aid kits annually for expired products such as ice packs, heat packs, ointments, saline solution and so on. Don’t forget to change the flashlight batteries. When you use any items in a first-aid kit, replace the items immediately.
- Larger first-aid kits should be located at main farm or ranch buildings or in the home. Smaller first-aid kits should be kept on major pieces of farm equipment and in vehicles.
The Following Items Should be Included in a Large First-Aid Kit:
- Sterile first-aid dressings in sealed envelopes, in the following sizes:
- 2"x2" for small wounds
- 4"x4" for larger wounds and for compresses to stop bleeding
- Two trauma dressings for covering large areas
- Small sterile adhesive compresses in sealed envelopes
- Antiseptic wash
- Roller bandages and 1", 2", and 6" cling bandages
- Rolls of adhesive tape in assorted widths (to hold dressings in place)
- Triangle bandages to use as slings or as coverings over large dressings
- Tongue depressors
- Bandage scissors and heavy-duty scissors to cut clothing
- Tweezers to remove insect stingers or small splinters
- Splints that are ¼" thick by 3" wide by 12" to 15" long for splinting broken arms and legs
- Sterile saline solution, in the following sizes:
- 8 fl. oz. for small kits
- 2 qt. for large kits
- Safety pins
- Ice packs (chemical ice bags) to reduce swelling
- A pocket mask for resuscitation
- Three small packages of sugar for individuals with diabetes
- Disposable rubber gloves and eye goggles
- An emergency blanket
For a list of first-aid items for specialty kits specific to equipment and jobs, visit bit.ly/first-aid-items