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Medical Services and First Aid

Employers are required to ensure that employees trained in first aid are available whenever the work location is not in near proximity to a hospital, physician office, acute care clinic or other facility for providing prompt medical treatment. "Near proximity" has been interpreted to mean within 3-4 minutes total travel time if the workplace and working conditions pose a reasonable risk of exposure to life-threatening hazards. In other settings (e.g., office settings), near proximity can mean within 15 minutes total travel time to such medical facilities.

North Carolina employers in general industry and construction who designate employees as being responsible for providing first aid as a collateral job duty must also comply with the bloodborne pathogens standard. Please refer to the Bloodborne Pathogens safety and health topic page for additional information regarding compliance with this requirement.

Medical Services and First Aid

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is first aid?

First aid is defined as medical attention that is usually administered immediately after the occurrence of an injury and at the location where it occurred. It often consists of a one-time, short-term treatment and requires little technology or training to administer.

What are the hazards associated with administering first aid?

The typical hazard associated with providing first aid is the potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens when bleeding is evident.

 

Solutions

Solutions

What can I do to protect myself?

Whenever providing first aid, even on a voluntary basis, exercise Universal Precautions to prevent direct contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials. Don single use gloves before treating others and be sure to wash hands as soon as possible with soap and water after removing gloves or when inadvertent contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials occurs. Be sure that first aid supplies are appropriate for the work setting and are properly maintained.

What resources are available to assist employers?

The First Aid, CPR and AED Response Policy is available for employers to download and customize to their work setting. This policy applies where employers have designated employees as having the responsibility to provide first aid as a collateral duty. The First Aid (BBP Exempt) Policy is available for employers that have not designated specific employees to provide first aid and are, therefore, exempt from the bloodborne pathogens standard.

The A-Z topics page on personal protective equipment and bloodborne pathogens can provide more resource information. In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). The education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request.

Regulations

Regulations

What standards apply?

  • 29 CFR 1910.151 - medical services and first aid (general industry)

  • 29 CFR 1915.87 - medical services and first aid (maritime - shipyard employment)

  • 29 CFR 1917.26 - first aid and life saving facilities (maritime - marine terminals)

  • 29 CFR 1926.23 - first aid and medical attention (construction)

  • 29 CFR 1926.50 - medical services and first aid (construction)

Additional OSH standards requiring the availability of first aid and first aid supplies include:

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.