As an employer in Ontario, it’s important to understand the workplace first aid requirements set out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Having a clear understanding of these requirements can help ensure the safety and well-being of your employees, and can also protect your business from potential legal issues.
In this post, we will take a closer look at the first aid requirements for Ontario workplaces, including the types of first aid kits and trained personnel that must be on hand. We will also discuss the importance of regularly reviewing and updating your first aid plan to ensure it remains effective and compliant.
First Aid Kit Requirements
Under the OHSA, all Ontario workplaces must have a first aid kit readily available for use. The type and size of the first aid kit will depend on the size and nature of your business, as well as the potential risks and hazards present in your workplace.
For example, a small office with low-risk activities may only require a basic first aid kit, while a construction site with high-risk activities may need a more extensive kit with additional supplies. It’s important to consult with a certified first aid provider to determine the appropriate kit for your workplace.
In addition to the first aid kit, employers are also required to have additional supplies on hand, such as eye wash stations and resuscitation masks, to address specific hazards and injuries.
Trained First Aid Personnel
In addition to having a first aid kit readily available, the OHSA also requires that at least one person in the workplace be trained in first aid and able to provide care in the event of an emergency. This person is known as the “first aid attendant”.
The number of first aid attendants required will again depend on the size and nature of your business, as well as the potential risks and hazards present in your workplace. For example, a small office with low-risk activities may only require one first aid attendant, while a construction site with high-risk activities may require multiple attendants to ensure adequate coverage.
First aid attendants must be certified by a recognized first aid training provider, and must complete regular refresher courses to maintain their certification.
First Aid Plans
In addition to having first aid kits and trained personnel, employers are also required to have a written first aid plan in place. This plan should outline the specific procedures and protocols for providing first aid in the workplace, including the location of first aid kits and the roles and responsibilities of first aid attendants.
The first aid plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it remains effective and compliant with the OHSA. This can include consulting with first aid providers, reviewing incident reports, and conducting regular workplace assessments to identify potential hazards and risks.
Reporting and Record Keeping
Under the OHSA, employers are required to report and keep records of all workplace injuries and incidents, including those that require first aid. This can help to identify trends and patterns, and can also be used to improve the effectiveness of your first aid plan.
Employers are required to maintain records of all first aid incidents, including the date and time of the incident, the type of injury or illness, and the first aid provided. These records must be kept for at least two years, and must be made available to the Ministry of Labour upon request.
The Importance of Compliance
Complying with the OHSA’s first aid requirements is important for the safety and well-being of your employees, as well as for the success and reputation of your business. In the event of an injury or emergency, having the appropriate first aid kit and trained personnel on hand can help to minimize the impact and prevent further harm.
Additionally, failure to comply with the OHSA’s first aid requirements can result in legal penalties, including fines and potential legal action. Ensuring that your workplace is adequately prepared for first aid incidents can help protect your business from these consequences.
Understanding and complying with the workplace first aid requirements in Ontario is essential for the safety and success of your business. By having the appropriate first aid kits and trained personnel on hand, as well as a written first aid plan in place, you can help ensure the well-being of your employees and protect your business from potential legal issues. Regularly reviewing and updating your first aid plan can also help to ensure it remains effective and compliant.
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