OSHA Standard for First Aid

OSHA Standard for First Aid

The OSHA standard most commonly cited to establish requirements for medical service and first aid in the workplace is 29 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR), standard number 1910.151. (29 CFR 1910.151)

This standard outlines the requirements of each employer that falls under the jurisdiction of OSHA. While this standard is a requirement for businesses it really should be considered a starting point for minimum compliance for your safety program. It is common practice for businesses dedicated to workplace safety to go above and beyond what is required in establishing their workplace health and safety program.

29 CFR 1910.151 (b)

This portion of the standard is most commonly associated with the requirement that employers make first aid products readily available in the workplace, as well as ensure they have employees who are adequately trained to render basic first aid.

As stated by OSHA:


In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the 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"*

29 CFR 1910.151 (c)

This portion of the standard is most commonly associated with the requirement that employers, when a hazard is present, provide the ability for employees to quickly drench or flush their eyes and body. In practical terms this is commonly associated with eyewash stations and emergency showers.

As stated by OSHA:


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."*

Does this impact my business?

It is ultimately up to each business to assess their workplace hazards and make a determination on their facility needs. For many businesses, first aid supplies, training and emergency flushing stations are handled with care and for other businesses they can be neglected. Ultimately, these are important steps that you should take to protect your workforce and build a culture of safety within your organization.