If you are a construction professional or OSHA defense attorney, you already know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a variety of requirements regarding first aid.
In this two-part article, we will discuss OSHA’s first aid requirements and how to stay compliant.
General Employer Responsibilities
In 29 CFR 1910.151, OSHA outlines employer responsibilities in regard to first aid for injured or sick workers.
This standard is as follows:
- 1910.151(a)- “The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health.”
- 1910.151(b)- “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.”
- 1910.151(c)- “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.”
Ambiguity on First Aid Training
When it comes to the specifics of first aid training, OSHA uses somewhat broad language. The standard does not name a specific training program; it simply reads “adequately trained to render first aid.”
A number of different standards delve deeper into industry-specific requirements for several different fields, and construction is one of those industries. This likely comes as no surprise to any construction professional or OSHA attorney, as we are privy to the dangerous nature of the career field.
The standard that specifically addresses the construction industry is 1926.50. Some of the key takeaways are as follows:
- The employer is responsible for ensuring availability of medical personnel for consultation on occupational health matters.
- Before the project commences, provisions for prompt medical attention must be made.
- In the absence of a hospital or other medical facility, someone with a valid first-aid certificate must be available.
- First aid supplies should be easily accessed.
- The contents of the first aid kit must be in a waterproof container and replaced if used.
- There must be appropriate transportation for taking an injured person to a hospital or a communication system for contacting an ambulance.
- If calling 911 is not available, numbers for doctors or hospitals should be posted in obvious, clearly visible locations.
- If exposure to injurious corrosive materials is involved, there must be facilities for the quick drenching of a worker’s eyes, face, or body.
This article is continued in Part 2.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.