I am in the habit of using my fingers to smooth beads of caulk. The other day while doing just that I expertly drove a splinter into my finger. I have a no-excuses, get-the-splinter-out-right-away policy. The faster they’re out, the less time they hurt and the faster I start to heal. As I alternated between digging in with a well-used utility knife blade and rinsing blood and caulk off in a rusty bucket of painty water, I thought that this might be an opportune moment to regroup my first aid skills.

For serious injuries I need to either call for help or get myself to the emergency room. My jobsite first aid kit is a simple affair that lives in my truck. Here’s what’s in it:

• Adhesive bandages, soap, and hydrogen peroxide. These are the most used items. Any time I break my skin it gets washed, rinsed with hydrogen peroxide, and covered with an adhesive bandage. If a cut gets ignored it gets infected, so I deal with them immediately.

• Clean rags, gauze pads, and duct tape. If I need to apply pressure to a larger cut, I wrap it in rags or gauze pads first. I can make any size bandage utilizing the tape and rags. The duct tape is also used as a covering for adhesive bandages. On my recent splinter removal and subsequent bandage, I used 3M flashing tape to cover the bandage. It held up very well through a wet work day.

•Antihistamines. I carry these since I tend to have a strong reaction the day after I’m stung by bees, yellow jackets, or hornets. If I take an antihistamine just after I’m stung, my next-day reaction is dampened down. Ibuprofen, and three homeopathic remedies; arnica for bruises and muscle soreness, hypericum perforatum for sharp nerve pains, and bellis per for sprains.

• I wear contacts, so I always have saline solution and a spare pair of glasses on-site. Those live in the cooler I use as a lunch box.

When the weather turns cold, I’ll keep the hydrogen peroxide in my lunch box as well to prevent it from freezing. My utility knife, preferably with a new blade, is the tool for splinter removal. In addition to the soap in my kit, there’s always a washing station on-site, consisting of an insulated water cooler as a water dispenser, soap kept in a covered container, and a fairly clean towel.

As mentioned, my first aid kit is simple and able to deal with 99% of my job-site injuries. It lives behind the passenger seat of my truck, and I’m careful to leave it intact.