No matter the size of your business, all companies are required to meet the Occupations Safety and Health Administration Standards (OSHA). Use this guide to find out what basics arerequired for first aid in your workplace.
This guide is designed to provide basic information regarding what is required for first aid in the office environment. Being prepared for medical emergencies is an important component of your companys safety program. Whether you have one employee or over fifty, all workplaces are required to meet the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations Standards (OSHA) for first aid. OSHA requirements for medical and first aid can be found in the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.151
Employers are required to access the workplace for the types of injuries that can be reasonably expected to occur at the workplace. Once the types of injuries have been determined, the employer must then determine if the medical services in the area are able to treat the employees for those types of injuries, and whether the medical services are in close proximity (Three to four minutes) to their workplace. When determining whether medical services are in close proximity, an employer must take into consideration hours of service, and if counting on emergency medical services, their response time must be taken into account. OSHA does take into consideration workplaces, such as offices, where the risk of serious injuries is minimal. According to a Letter of Interpretation, in such cases, OSHA is more flexible, allowing up to fifteen minutes as acceptable.
When a workplace is found not to be in close proximity to medical services, the employer is then required to have a person adequately trained to render first aid. First aid training can be attained through; The American Red Cross, Medic First Aid, American Heart Association, and other recognized providers.
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.151 states: First aid supplies are required to be readily available, and contain the minimum requirements of supplies. An example of the minimal contents of a generic first aid kit is described in American National Standard (ANSI) Z308.1-1998 "Minimum Requirements for Workplace First-Aid Kits." The contents of the kit listed in the ANSI standard should be adequate for most office environments and small business. When larger operations or multiple operations are being conducted at the same location, employers should determine the need for additional first aid kits, and supplies at the worksite.
First aid kits must be properly maintained, accessible to all employees, and stored in a location where it will not be damaged. Although there are no requirements that employers provide medications, over-the-counter medicine can be put in first aid kits if packaged in single dose, tamper-evident packaging and labeled as required by FDA regulations. Over-the-counter drug products should not contain ingredients which are known to cause drowsiness. It is also important to consider the risks related to employees having allergic and or adverse reactions to medications, before providing such medications.
ANSI Z308.1–1998 Required Minimum Supplies (10 person first aid kit)
If it is reasonably anticipated that employees will be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials while using first aid supplies, employers are required to provide appropriate PPE in compliance with the provisions of the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(3). PPE must be provided at no charge, and be available at the location of the first aid kit
Minimum PPE equipment requirements:
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.151(c) states: Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.
For locations that meet the requirements of an eye wash station or emergency shower, facilities must be properly maintained, flushed regularly, unobstructed by doors, within a ten second walking distance, and accessible to all employees involved in the corrosive materials.
All emergency eye wash and emergency shower facilities must meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z358.1-1990
As part of the workplaces Emergency Action Plan, each workplace needs to have an Emergency Medical Plan. This plan must be posted in a location where it is visible to employees in the event of a medical emergency.
The plan should include the following:
All personnel should be trained on the Emergency Medical Plan at their initial hire, and at least annually thereafter.
For more information, employers can find OSHA regulations at the following web address:
July 24, 2012
Author: Jary D Winstead
Work Safety Services, LLC.
This article provides general information, and is not intended to be personalized legal or medical advice; please consult with your own advisor and review local/state/federal regulatory guidelines and requirements if you have any questions.