Have You Updated Your Office Health Kit for COVID Preparedness?

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Summary: You can help keep your employees safe, healthy and on-the-job by updating your office first aid kit with items to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Recommended additions include sanitation supplies, CDC approved facemasks and a no-contact temperature device.

One of the most important steps a business owner can take to create a safe and healthy work environment is maintaining a well-stocked first aid kit.

If you don’t have an office health kit, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines on what you need. Some of these items include:

  • Gauze pads

  • Bandages

  • Wound cleaning supplies

  • Scissors

  • Latex gloves

  • Resuscitation equipment

For a full list, visit the OHSA website.

These items are standard to cover routine workplace incidents. If your business is welcoming employees back to the workplace, it is a great time to make sure you have the basics covered. It is also a good time to check expiration dates.

Because of the current Coronavirus pandemic, you should also add supplies that help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Promote healthy hygiene

The Centers for Disease Control recommend supplies that support healthy hygiene behaviors. These include:

  • Soap

  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol

  • Tissues

  • Paper towels

  • No-touch trash cans

Encourage mask wearing

The CDC also recommends employees use cloth face coverings when around others. By keeping an adequate supply of masks on hand, you can help support this important behavior.

The CDC also offers a helpful list of dos and don’ts so you can include the right masks in your employee health kit.

Do choose masks that

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric

  • Completely cover your nose and mouth

  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and do not have gaps

Don’t choose masks that

  • Are made of fabrics that make it hard to breathe

  • Have exhalation valves or vents

  • Are intended for healthcare workers

Check for signs and symptoms

If possible, the CDC suggests daily health checks (e.g. temperature screening and symptom checks). Especially useful for this are “no-touch” or non-contact temperature assessment devices. Unlike oral thermometers or others that need physical contact, you use no-touch devices from a distance. This helps decrease the risk of spreading an infection.

You can also use the COVID-19 Symptom Checker on Anthem’s Sydney Care app to review potential symptoms or chat with a physician.

These updates to your first aid kit and office practices can help keep your employees safe, healthy and on the job.

Infographic depicting OSHA and CDC health kits

COVID-19 Resources: Managing Your Business During a Crisis