California First Aid laws & safety compliance analysis

California First Aid: What you need to know

First aid generally includes any onetime treatment and follow-up for observation of minor injuries, including cuts, abrasions, bruises, first-degree burns, sprains, and splinters. At most workplaces, injuries or illnesses requiring only first aid are commonplace.

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The level of first-aid services maintained will depend on the hazards normally present at the work site. Both the law and good common sense require at least a basic level of readiness.

California has two separate sets of first-aid standards, a detailed scheme for construction employers (CA Code Regs. Tit. 8 Sec. 1512) and similar but less demanding standards for all other types of business activity (CA Code Regs. Tit. 8 Sec. 3400). The state standards must be at least as stringent as the federal standards. Please see the national First Aid section.

General Industry

The standards cover the following areas:

Emergency medical services.All employers must ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation.

Personnel training. Virtually all employers are required to have personnel trained to render first aid. Training must be equal to that of the American Red Cross or the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The only exceptions are nonconstruction employers that are near enough to an infirmary or clinic for first aid to be administered there. The regulations do not specify how many people should be trained, but the number should be adequate to ensure that any employee needing first aid will be within close reach of a trained person.

First-aid supplies. Employers must keep a suitable first-aid kit handy, maintain it in a sanitary and usable condition, inspect it frequently, and replenish supplies when they become ...


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