There are no District of Columbia laws requiring employers to have a dispensary at the worksite or to keep a doctor or nurse on call to treat workplace injuries. However, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which governs D.C. workplace safety and health, requires every employer to ensure that medical personnel are readily available for advice and consultation and that when an infirmary, clinic, or hospital is not within close proximity to the workplace there is an individual (or individuals) who is adequately trained to administer first aid. Employers are responsible for making decisions about the details of emergency medical care in their workplaces, depending on the size, the kinds of hazards present, the history of accidents, and the costs of various options (29 CFR 1910.151).
The federal requirements for medical treatment apply to private sector employers (businesses and nonprofit organizations). There are no federal or state requirements for medical treatment in public sector workplaces (state, county, or municipal governments, schools, commission, etc.). There is additional information and for an explanation of federal requirements and for a description of an effective workplace medical program.
There may be substance-specific measures beyond routine first aid that are recommended to counteract the effects of exposure to hazardous substances. These specific requirements can be found on the material safety data sheets that employers are required to keep on file to satisfy federal hazard communication standards, commonly referred to as “right-to-know” laws. There is additional information and details.