Online Safety Community

One of the biggest questions that my employees have is why don't we keep Tylenol, Ibuprofen, diarrhea, migraines, cramps, etc... on site for them. My management staff has asked as well. My comment is always that I'm not a nurse and won't dispense medicine on site. They continue with we've had it before here (before I showed up). But I stay strong that I won't keep it in the shelves nor my desk drawers. I don't know nor do they who has what allergic reaction to what medicine. Therefore, I've proposed a medicine dispenser where they can pay a quarter to obtain whatever medicine they think they need at the moment. This should take liability away from the company and myself. What are your thoughts on this idea? Or do you know otherwise of liability issues?

Views: 11468

Replies to This Discussion

Jason, we (Professional Pipeline Contractors Inc.) have a complete first aid kit that is stock with many over the counter meds (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Pepto, ect...) we require all employees to fill in our first aid log for any items that are used. We then track adhesive bandages, eyewash or antacid meds what ever is used from the cabinet. What we do during our new comer’s orientation, we let them know our policy of medicine and that they need to know what they are allergic too. Also if someone brings Tylenol in their lunch box and has an allergic reaction at your work place it is an OSHA recordable until you can proof different. I once worked for a large Corporation where they removed all of the first aid kits because they did not want employees using supplies and not recording a first aid injury. MSHA and CAL-OSHA require you have an approved first aid kit readily available that is supplied according to a Doctors recommendation. I would recommend talking with your worker Comp. Insurance group and see what they recommend.
Thanks Ray for your reply. My insurance company says that it's up to us what we want to do. They don't see any liability whether we offer it or not. KYOSHA is a pain in the butt. They'd find reason to cite us for either way.
MSHA has a required list of 1st aid supplies, but it is out out dated. Most all mines are now required to have EMT's on every shift that men work. A typical EMT response bag does not meet MSHA requirements. As far as over the counter meds, we have taken them out of the workplace due to an allergic reaction that an employee had. Our work comp carrier reccommended that no meds be supplied by the company.
We keep first aid kits throughout the warehouse but remove any medicines that can be swallowed. We still have triple antibiotics ointments etc.. I was told when I started that it was for liability reasons. Although we do allow associates to bring their own - we just need to know about it and sign the bottle (for theft pruposes) and it must always be in the original bottle, prescrption meds must be in the original presvription bottle. I also track the first aid supplies, only to find our where people are getting injured- usually paper cuts, occasionally a knife nick, or sharp edge on a shelf. then I can have maintenance fix it right away.
I removed medications from open dispensing at our work place as well. Which of course made me extremely unpopular, as "they had always given it out in the past". I had concerns with regarding reactions to medication and liability. I did add the meds to a vending machine in which the employees must make a personal decision in purchasing. This doesn't remove all liability, however it could possibly reduce it. We do provide other medical supplies such as band aids and the like (of course logging it in the first aid book).
To avoid some painful litigation it should not but in reality how convinient it would be to have tylenol at work some times. what we used to do before we did away with it is that I offered what would help and set it on the table I could not put it in anybodys hand or order them to take it. "I think this might help you... if you wish... "
Analgesics come under the category of medication and are not considered a first aid item. The opinion is that workplace first aid kits should not include medications of any type, including pain killers. 'First aid' is defined as the provision of emergency treatment and life support for people suffering injury or illness. The dispensing of medication would generally not fall within this definition. A major concern with dispensing medication is that a recipient may suffer an allergic reaction. This is possible, even with common medications such as tylenol or aspirin. Many people are intolerant to such substances.

First Aiders are people who undertake the initial treatment of people suffering injury or illness at work. First aiders should not be responsible for on-going medical care. These people are trained to administer first aid only, not to make decisions on what medication should be given, and headache tablets, tylenol etc. come under the category of medication.

I agree with RAUL - people should bring some if they think they will need it. There's always someone in the office who has them. I keep them myself and have the employee sign off when I give them a typical dose. The other issue is over the counter prescription abuse, if you have an employee who abuses the medication you'd be enabling that by making it available.

Wendy (the other Canadian)
We currently have OTC meds available on the plant floor for our TM's to use at will. I am confused by the thinking of my fellow Safety Professionals when they say that they will not dispense medication that is available OTC. If a TM were to come to one of us and ask for a pain reliever, we give them a suggestion as to what type of they should take, they take it on our recommendation, and have a reaction, then I wholly understand. But for the TM to take OTC meds that are in the First Aid cabinet without recommendation, it would really be no different than if they went to the local store/pharmacy, bought the meds and had a reaction. The store would not be liable for the reaction, simply because they were the purveyor.

As to the abuse issue, the same standard would apply. Now, I admit that some stores now control some OTC meds for purchase, but that seems to be more of an issue of using a type of medication to make a more potent, illegal drug (methamphatamines).




Take our poll!

Take our poll!

Latest Activity

Drew stone posted a discussion

5 Ways to combat complacency in your Safety Program.

Complacency is a state of mind where a worker is out of touch with the hazards and risks around them. It can show up in a number of ways: over-confidence, lack of care, mindlessness, actual physical signs, a rushed approach to the work, frustration, fatigue, your mind not being totally on-task, cutting corners…the list goes on and on.Complacency is one of the most problematic mindsets that can contribute to injuries and incidents on the job.So how can you move towards a culture where you reduce…See More
7 hours ago
swethakumar posted a blog post

Nebosh Course in Bangalore – Green World Group

Many people wish to serve society and they will be also expected to get an opportunity to work in the Safety Management field as their passion. In this case, NEBOSH courses help them to go beyond their dream.NEBOSH is an accredited international course in Occupational Health and Safety Management throughout the world and it is the UK based independent examining board. After successfully completed this…See More
11 hours ago
Training Doyens posted an event

3 Hour Excel Automation Boot Camp: Pivot Tables, Top 10 Functions & Formulas, Basics of Macros and VBA at 26468 E Walker Dr, Aurora, Colorado 80016

September 17, 2019 from 1pm to 4pm
OVERVIEWPivotTables can help you sort and sift through large data sets to focus quickly on just the data elements that matter most to your specific needs. In addition, you’ll get tips on the easiest way to group your data. Most importantly, when you use the power of Microsoft Excel PivotTables, you’ll be saving time and making your job easier.WHY SHOULD YOU ATTENDAs an…See More
13 hours ago
Morgan Franklin posted a blog post

Benefits of First Aid Training in the Workplace

It is the legal duty of employers to have adequate first aid procedures in place. As stated by the UK Government Health and Safety Executive (HSE), this includes an obligation to assess risks and to take appropriate action to control the risks, and to also provide suitable facilities and safety equipment. As well as having a fully stocked first aid kit, businesses also need to have appointed first aiders who are trained in helping…See More
16 hours ago

Discussion Forum

When is it time to send them home? 2 Replies

I'm sure that there are multiple sites that have the same issue that I have: overweight and unhealthy employees. I have numerous times sent associates to the doctor or even home when they don't feel…Continue

Started by Jason A Beck. Last reply by Jen McDade Sep 26, 2018.

NIOSH Research Explores Cleaning Ambulances With UV Light

Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health site in Morgantown is delving into a new method of disinfecting ambulances and other emergency vehicles that have transported…Continue

Started by Jay D. Rohman Jan 19, 2016.

Twas the Night Before Recertification

We hope you enjoy our holiday video! To celebrate the holiday season, Health Education Solutions is offering 15% off ACLS and PALS recertification courses when you use the code "HES11" (valid for…Continue

Tags: holiday, funny, discount, test, Nursing

Started by Rebecca Howard Dec 13, 2011.

AED in the mfg plant 3 Replies

I have a question for the group.I'm the HSE support and the EMT for our plant.The AED we have is 7 years old this March.We have had to replace battery twice and pads regularly as they expire(again in…Continue

Tags: training, emt, responders, first, AED

Started by Randy. Last reply by Douglas Comstock Mar 1, 2010.

Should medicine be available to your employees openly? 8 Replies

One of the biggest questions that my employees have is why don't we keep Tylenol, Ibuprofen, diarrhea, migraines, cramps, etc... on site for them. My management staff has asked as well. My comment is…Continue

Started by Jason A Beck. Last reply by Ben Lenchner Jul 27, 2009.



© 2019   Created by Safety Community.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service