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LEGISLATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

First Aid – Readily available

Topic: First Aid – Readily available, As close as Practicable and Located at or Near Issued by: Director, Compliance and Regulatory Review
Statute: First Aid Regulation Date Issued: September 15, 2004
Section: 6(3), 7(4)(b), 12(2)(c), 13(1)(a) Date Revised:

Question:
What is meant by “readily available”, “as close as practicable” and “located at or near”?

Answer:
There is no formula to be applied to determine how available or close first aid services and supplies must be. You should take into account the nature of the hazard, the severity of possible injuries and the accessibility (horizontal and vertical distances, weather conditions, physical impediments, etc.) of the transportation, supplies or medical help to the worker’s location.

Section 6(3) – With respect to transportation, every attempt should be made to get to a seriously injured person and transport them t to meet medical aid (EMTs) in less than an hour of their injury, taking into account road and weather conditions.

Section 7(4) – These items are to protect the first aid provider. Therefore the first aid providers should determine, given the particulars of their workplace, the best location for the gloves and face shields to be readily available to them.

Section 12(2) – First aid rooms should be accessible to employees. For example, they should not be in a distant guardhouse or administration building, separate from the work area with the highest risk of injury.

Section 13(1) – Some workplaces are divided into very distinct areas or different buildings. First aid kits should be located at places around the workplace that are convenient to the trained first aid providers. For example, a meat packing plant made up of three large buildings would have first aid kits in every building, in addition to the first aid room.

Referenced legislation

6(3) An employer shall…ensure that transportation is readily available in the event of a medical emergency when work is carried out at an isolated site.

7(4) An employer shall ensure that an employee who is designated as a first aid provider has readily available access to disposable latex or vinyl gloves and a face shield with a one-way valve.

12(2) The requirements for a first aid room are as follows

(c) is located as close as practicable to the work force it is to serve and is clearly identified by a sign;

13(1) An employer shall ensure that

(a) the first aid kits are conspicuously located at or near the working area that they are intended to serve.

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