Should first-aid kits contain paracetamol?

This seems like a straightforward question and at first blush would seem to require a straightforward answer. Of course a first-aid kit can contain paracetamol. Why not?

However when Bob Robinson of WelTec put this question to the Safeguard discussion forum it prompted a flurry of replies.

The consensus view which emerged was that making paracetamol available in accessible first-aid kits runs the risk that employees with chronic pain might come to rely on taking it at work rather than seek a medical opinion. An alternative is to store it outside the first-aid kit under the control of a designated person who records every request so that patterns of use can be established.

One forum member said he has two clients who have adopted this system and have identified worrying paracetamol consumption patterns with two employees. Turned out that one had a workstation set-up problem that was quickly fixed, along with some physiotherapist visits. The other had a problem with stress that was also able to be identified and dealt with.

Click to read the Department of Labour guidelines on the contents of first-aid kits.

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