Rhode Island First Aid laws & safety compliance analysis

Rhode Island First Aid: What you need to know

Rhode Island does not have its own occupational safety and health regulatory program for private sector employers. Therefore, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), administered by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), governs workplace health and safety in private sector workplaces. Public sector (state and local government) workplaces are governed by state workplace safety and health rules administered by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training/Division of Occupational Safety. The state has adopted by reference the federal first-aid rules for public sector employers in general industry and construction (RI Rules and Regulations 16.050.002 and 16.050.003). There is additional information and a detailed discussion. Please see the national First Aid section.

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In addition to standards that govern first-aid procedures in the workplace, OSHA sets strict guidelines for the handling of human blood (to prevent the spread of disease via bloodborne pathogens). In general, employers would be wise to treat all human blood as contagious. The OSHA standard requires employers of any employees with a "reasonably anticipated" risk of exposure to blood to develop a written plan to control exposure, detailing training and other precautionary procedures, engineering and work practice controls, steps to take in case of an emergency, and first-aid procedures. Employers must provide adequate hand-washing facilities and require individuals in the workplace to wash hands or other body parts immediately after skin has come in contact with blood. Employers must also provide antiseptic cleansers and clean towels and must require ...

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