First Aid Regulation

The California Occupational Safety & Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) regulation Title 8 CCR Section 3400 specifies that first-aid supplies must be made available to all employees.  Paragraph (c) of this standard states that a physician must approve the contents of a first-aid kit in the workplace.  This requirement does not specify the exact contents of the kit and is often overlooked by an employer.  What is clear is that medicine should not be in the first aid kit unless you have a physician’s approval to dispense, even for something like Advil.  It also has the potential of becoming a citation during inspections of the workplace in response to an accident or worker complaint.

To avoid penalties for this standard, the following are useful guidelines and tips for workplace first-aid kits to be in compliance:

  • First-aid supplies must be adequate and made available to all employees on every job.
  • First-aid materials are to be kept in sanitary and usable conditions such as on a wall mounted cabinet, a mobile case or duffle bag.
  • Frequent inspections are to be conducted to all first-aid materials with attention to items with expiration dates.
  • First-aid materials are to be replenished as necessary.

Majority of employers often purchase a well-stocked first-aid kit from a store or vendor, but it is still required to have a physician’s approval.  ANSI Z308.1-2015, “Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits” offers recommendations for an adequate first-aid kit.  Another source for contents of a workplace first-aid kit can be found on the American Red Cross website.

California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3400 (f) states, effective provisions are to be made in advance for prompt medical treatment in the event of serious injury or illness.  In order to avoid treatment delays one or a combination of the following shall be done:

  • A communication system for contacting a doctor or emergency medical service, such as access to 911 or equivalent telephone system. The communication system or employees using the system shall have the ability to direct emergency services to the location of the injured or ill employee.
  • Readily accessible and available on-site treatment facilities suitable for treatment of reasonably anticipated injury and illness.
  • Proper equipment for prompt medical transport when transportation of injured or ill employees is necessary and appropriate.

Feel free to contact The Cohen Group for assistance with your workplace first-aid kits.