CSA (Canadian Standards Association) Harmonization of First Aid Kits across Canada

As of November 23, 2018, the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) issued an amendment to the Manitoba Workplace Safety & Health Regulations. In 2014, CSA Group’s Occupational Health and Safety Standards Program and the Canadian Red Cross’s Workplace Injury Reduction Collaborative Forum held a joint workshop that discussed and reached an agreement that the development of a standard across Canada could serve as part of a national system for first aid training and assessment of training organizations. This resulted in the development of CSA Z1210, Workplace First Aid Standard.

Every province across Canada will soon have a harmonized regulation for Workplace first aid – for now, Manitoba is the first province to have updated their regulations. This new legislation means that employers will be responsible for updating their first aid kits depending on the number of employees and the type of workspace. There are three (3) different classifications (Type 1, 2, or 3) and three (3) different sizes (small, medium, and large) .

Do we have to purchase new kits immediately?

No, a transition time of one year will allow employers and suppliers time to use current supplies and either purchase new kits or stock supplies to the new standard. First aid kits are required to be in accordance with the Canadian Standards Association, CSA Z1220 – First aid kits for the workplace.

Employers must:

  • • Ensure that employees know where first aid services may be accessed at the workplace
  • • Ensure that the minimum number of first aiders are present on the workplace during working hours
  • • Ensure that any illness or injury suffered by a worker in the course of their work at the workplace is documented and retained for 5 years after the illness/injury
  • • Ensure that first aid kits meet the requirements as established in the Regulations
  • • A worker who becomes ill or is injured at the workplace must report to their Supervisor, and fill out the required information on the first aid log form in the first aid kit
  • • Inform their employer if there is something missing from the first aid kit

First aid kits are a basic workplace amenity that many of us often take for granted. We grab a band aid here or there and don’t think anything of it. Having a first aid kit on hand is very convenient, but they also have a greater purpose. Usage of the first aid kit can be a great indicator of what serious hazards may be in your workplace.

For example, ‘CJ’ catches his leg on a piece of metal that is sticking out of a storage rack. He grabs a small band aid and does not log the activity – after all, its just a scratch! Two days later, ‘Alex’ walks by and catches his leg on the same piece of metal. But this time, it cuts through ‘Alex’s’ pants and cuts his calf. He is taken to the clinic for 8 stitches and ends up missing two days of work. Had the hazard been documented and handled during the first incident, ‘Alex’ may not have ended up getting hurt.

Type 2 Basic first aid kits, small, must now contain the following:

  • • (25) Adhesive bandages, sterile, assorted sizes
  • • (12) Gauze pad, sterile, individually wrapped
  • • (1) Abdominal pad, sterile, individually wrapped
  • • (1 roll) Conforming stretch bandage, relaxed length, individually wrapped, 2 in x 2 yd
  • • (1 roll) Conforming stretch bandage, relaxed strength, individually wrapped, 3 in x 2 yd
  • • (2) Compress/pressure dressing with ties, sterile, 4 in x 4 in
  • • Triangular bandages, cotton, with 2 safety pins, 40 in x 40 in x 56 in
  • • Adhesive tape, 1 in
  • • Antiseptic wound cleansing towelette, individually wrapped
  • • Antibiotic ointment, topical, single use
  • • Hand/skin cleansing towelette, individually wrapped (or equivalent)
  • • CPR resuscitation barrier device, with one-way valve
  • • Examination gloves, disposable, medical grade, one-size, non-latex, powder free
  • • Biohazard waste disposal bag, single use
  • • Bandage scissors, stainless steel (with angled, blunt tip) minimum 5.5 in

Selection of first aid kits

Workplace first aid kit classification1 employee or work in isolation2 – 25 workers per shift26 – 51 workers per shift51 – 100 workers per shift
Type 1: Personal1Not applicableNot applicableNot applicable
Type 2: Basic1 small2 small; or
1 medium
4 small; or
2 medium; or
2 small and 1 medium; or
1 large
Type 3: Intermediate1 small2 small; or
1 medium
4 small; or
2 medium; or
2 small and 1 medium; or
1 large

Examples of workplace first aid kit requirements

Likelihood of harmPotential severity of harm
LowModerateHigh
Very unlikelyType 2: Basic first aid kitType 2: Basic first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kit
UnlikelyType 2: Basic first aid kitType 2: Basic first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kit
ModerateType 2: Basic first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kit
LikelyType 2: Basic first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kit
Very likelyType 2: Basic first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kitType 3: Intermediate first aid kit

First Aid Log:

In every kit there is a FIRST AID LOG. This document should be filled out immediately by the person who is providing first aid – the first aider would be the person who is withdrawing materials from the first aid kit to assist themselves or another person. Even if you are only grabbing a small band aid, imagine if 15 other coworkers grabbed small band aids without documenting the reason… the next time someone goes to grab a band aid, the entire stock would be depleted with no record of what occurred. Below is a great example of the information that needs to be collected on a FIRST AID LOG.

Sample of First Aid Log:

Record of First Aid TreatmentALL TREATMENT MUST BE RECORDED!
NameDateJobType of InjuryLocation of InjuryTreatment RequiredFirst Aider
Alex TippersJune 2, 2018ReceivingCut with x-acto knifeRight indexBand aidJulio Banderas
Sam SandersonJuly 3, 2018PackagingScratched shoulder on shelvesLeft shoulderBand aid, antiseptic wipesMaggie Forrest

What do I do with my expired and out of regulation first aid kits?

With the recent harmonization of first aid kits across Canada, you may find yourself with a collection of outdated or out of regulation materials. Do you buy a brand-new kit that meets regulations, or do you buy replacement supplies? No matter the option, you need to ensure you are making a smart decision of how to get rid of your extras. Some products, such as the tape and bandages, have an adhesive that causes the product to expire after 3-5 years post manufacture. When these products expire, do you throw them away or do you find a better way to make use of them?

DONATE EXPIRED FIRST AID SUPPLIES TO INTERNATIONAL HOPE CANADA INC.

With the recent harmonization of first aid kits across Canada, you may find yourself with a collection of outdated or out of regulation materials. Do you buy a brand-new kit that meets regulations, or do you buy replacement supplies? No matter the option, you need to ensure you are making a smart decision of how to get rid of your extras. Some products, such as the tape and bandages, have an adhesive that causes the product to expire after 3-5 years post manufacture. When these products expire, do you throw them away or do you find a better way to make use of them?

Internaltion Hope Canada Inc Logo

International HOPE Canada
PO Box 32041, RPO McGillivray
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
(204) 774-1102

If your workplace has a surplus of unused but expired products in the first aid kit, consider donating these supplies to a company like International HOPE Canada – this gives products a second chance at helping someone in need instead of ending up in a landfill! Medical supplies are largely non-existent to the countries whom are receiving these packages, so every little bit helps. If you live in Manitoba, consider contacting iHC to find out more about the volunteer options that are available!


Click here for more information regarding the updated harmonization of first aid kits and other regulations across Canada.


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