Does "Subpart K - Medical and First Aid" Apply to You?

Subpart K provides the requirements for medical services and first aid that in the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Note: Employees that are designated by their employer to provide first aid as a collateral job duty are covered under the bloodborne pathogens standard. 

Near proximity (interpretation) -  "OSHA has long interpreted the term 'near proximity' to mean that emergency care must be available within no more than 3-4 minutes from the workplace. Medical literature establishes that, for serious injuries such as those involving stopped breathing, cardiac arrest, or uncontrolled bleeding, first aid treatment must be provided within the first few minutes to avoid permanent medical impairment or death. Accordingly, in workplaces where serious accidents such as those involving falls, suffocation, electrocution, or amputation are possible, emergency medical services must be available within 3-4 minutes, if there is no employee on the site who is trained to render first aid. OSHA does exercise discretion in enforcing the first aid requirements in particular cases. For example, OSHA recognizes that in workplaces, such as offices, where the possibility of such serious work-related injuries is less likely, a longer response time of up to 15 minutes may be reasonable."

Does your workplace have hazards that could cause serious injuries? If yes, you need to comply with this subpart which requires having someone trained on first aid and CPR or have emergency care available within 3-4 minutes of the workplace. If no, then a response time for emergency care of up to 15 minutes would likely be considered adequate. Appendix A provides guidance on first aid kits. 

Subpart K also requires quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body when a person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials. OPN 143 provides guidance when determining what is considered a suitable facility for drenching or flushing the eyes or body. Do you have injurious corrosive materials in the workplace? If yes, this subpart applies to you.

More information related to bloodborne pathogens can be found on the A-Z topics page for bloodborne pathogens, recording and reporting and medical services and first aid.