The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program, a new guide to help employers and employees develop workplace first-aid programs.

"A workplace first-aid program is a key component of any comprehensive safety and health management system," said OSHA administrator Ed Foulke. "Our new guide offers practical information on how to help employers plan and implement first-aid programs as well as effective training."

The new OSHA guide identifies four essential elements for first-aid programs to be effective and successful; management leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.

The guide details the primary components of a first-aid program at the workplace. Those elements include:
  • Identifying and assessing workplace risks;
  • Designing a program that is specific to the worksite and complies with OSHA first-aid requirements;
  • Instructing all workers about the program, including what to do if a co-worker is injured or ill. Policies and program should be in writing;
  • Evaluating and modifying program to keep it current, including regular assessment of the first-aid training course.
The guide also includes best practices for planning and conducting safe and effective first-aid training. OSHA recommends that training courses include instruction in general and workplace hazard-specific knowledge and skills, incorporating automated external defibrillator (AED) training in to CPR training if an AED is available at the work site, and periodically repeat first-aid training to help maintain and update knowledge and skills.