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Do you have the right medical toolbox?

Danielle Pasztor for Progressive Dairyman Published on 30 November 2018

As we all know, accidents can happen when working on a farm. Whether it requires a Band-Aid or a trip to the emergency room for some stitches, it is immensely important you have the right tools and materials in your first-aid kit to help you or your team members receive the treatment they need.

It can be life-saving. Not only does having the proper first-aid kit help to protect workers, but it is a duty of an employer under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1990.

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Though this specific regulation applies specifically in Ontario, the standards set out would be valuable for any farm in Canada.

To ensure legislative compliance for your province, producers should reference their provincial health and safety legislation.

Which producers need to have first-aid kits on their dairy?

Any producer who has one or more employees working on their team must have a first-aid kit in a central location on the farm.

The number of employees in any given location will determine the size of first-aid kit needed, as well as some other measures that must be taken.

What does a producer need?

For producers who employ between five and 15 team members, they typically should have the following items in what will make up their first-aid kit:

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  • A current edition of a standard St. John Ambulance First-aid Manual

  • One card of safety pins

  • Dressings consisting of:

o 24 adhesive dressings individually wrapped

o 12 sterile gauze pads, 3 inches square

o Four rolls of 2-inch gauze bandage

o Four rolls of 4-inch gauze bandage

o Four sterile surgical pads suitable for pressure dressings, individually wrapped

o Six triangular bandages

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o Two rolls of splint padding

o One roll-up splint

This kit also needs to be accompanied with a certified first-aid responder. This person should be available to anyone who is injured on the farm.

This sometimes is difficult on the dairy and therefore, depending on shifts and employee numbers, may require more than one person to be certified in first-aid.

Furthermore, producers should ensure they are compliant in having a bulletin board displaying:

o The board’s poster known as Form 82 (also known as the 1, 2, 3, 4 Poster)

o The valid first-aid certificates of the trained workers

o An inspection form with spaces for recording the date of the most recent inspection of the first-aid box and the signature of the person making the inspection

Where are first-aid kits/stations needed?

Your first-aid station should be located in a central area on the farm, usually the lunch room or locker room. So long as it is easily accessible and in an area where team members will know where first-aid items are located.

Furthermore, any vehicles or pieces of equipment that travel off of the “home farm,” such as tractors that haul wagons, combines and farm trucks, must contain the following vehicle-sized first-aid kits:

  • A current edition of a standard St. John Ambulance First-aid Manual

  • Dressings consisting of:

o 12 adhesive dressings, individually wrapped

o One 4-inch bandage compress

o Two 2-inch bandage compresses

o 1 triangular bandage

A good way to determine what needs a first-aid kit is: If someone is operating or driving it, and is injured and needs first-aid attention, would it be feasible for them to use the centralized first-aid station, or would they need something closer?

By adhering to these measures above, you will be one step closer to compliance.

But, more importantly, you will ensure if someone needs first-aid treatment, whether minor or while waiting for emergency services to arrive, it will be available to them.

Further information can be found by going to Ontario Laws which outlines the entire R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 1101.  end mark

References omitted but are available upon request. Click here to email an editor.

Danielle Pasztor
  • Danielle Pasztor

  • Farm Safety Specialist and HR Consultant
  • PeopleManagement Group Inc.
  • Email Danielle Pasztor

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