OSHA Offers Best Practices Guide for First Aid Programs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued Best Practice Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program, a new guide to help employers and employees develop workplace first aid programs.

          The new OSHA guide identifies four essential elements for first-aid programs to be effective and successful; management leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.

Those elements include:

  • Identifying and assessing workplace risks;
  • Designing a program that is specific to the worksite and complies with OSHA first-aid requirements;
  • Instructing all workers about the program, including what to do if a coworker is injured or ill. Policies and program should be in writing;
  • Evaluating and modifying program to keep it current, including regular assessment of the first-aid training course.

The guide also includes best practices for planning and conducting safe and effective first-aid training. OSHA recommends that training courses include instruction in general and workplace hazard-specific knowledge and skills, incorporating automated external defibrillator (AED) training in to CPR training if an AED is available at the work site, and periodically repeat first-aid training to help maintain and update knowledge and skills.

          Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.