Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Is it mandatory for all workplaces to provide a first aid kit?

Title 29 CFR 1910.151(b) states: "In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available."

Employers may elect not to provide first aid services if all such services will be provided by a hospital, infirmary, or clinic in near proximity to the workplace. If the employer has persons who are trained in first aid, then adequate first aid supplies must be readily available for use. Therefore, employers are required to provide first aid supplies that are most appropriate to respond to incidents at their workplaces. OSHA allows employers to provide first aid supplies specific to the needs of their workplace.

Although we have provided our interpretation of the federal standard, twenty-six states, including California, operate their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health programs. These State-plan States adopt and enforce their own standards, which may have different requirements from the federal standards regarding medical services and supplies. The California Department of Industrial Relations (Cal-OSHA) administers the state plan program.