First Aid Kits – 101
May 03, 2004
California regulations mandate that employers ensure ready availability of medical personnel for advice on matters of industrial health or injury. In response, most dealerships have contracted with a clinic for treatment of injuries at the workplace, and as such, are in compliance with the code. The code also mandates that a first aid kit be available on the premises that has been approved by the consulting physician for every work person on the job. A consulting physician is a medical doctor who is well versed with dealership operations and has knowledge of typical hazards and accidents on the job. The number and location of the first aid kits is typically left to the judgment of the dealership staff. It is essential that all areas of employment be serviced. For example, if on a Saturday only the sales department is open, then a kit must be made available to employees in that area. The code also specifies that a frequent inspection should be made of all first aid materials, which should be replaced as necessary. (Reference T8CCR3400 (a) and (b)).
California law requires that in the absence of a clinic or hospital in near proximity to the workplace, which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. The training provided to dealership staff must be equal or better to that of American Red Cross.
Cal-OSHA has defined “near proximity” in the code to be that employee be able to receive CPR or first aid within 4 minutes. This is based on data from medical literature that suggests that following the occurrence of a cardiopulmonary arrest from any precipitating cause, those who receive CPR within the first four minutes do far better than other who do not receive care within that time frame. In reality, response sometimes has been more than four minutes even when paramedics are across the street! Training under such circumstances sounds prudent.
In urban areas, most of the paramedic facilities are located/planned so as to meet the 4-minute deadline within that jurisdiction. If the dealership is beyond the four-minute distance from the paramedics, first aid and CPR training is required for facility personnel. State of California Office of Emergency Services recommends that 1 in 7 (14%) of the staff be trained to deal with the big earthquake, when it comes. The definition of first aid and first aid kits was also discussed in great detail in our November 1999 Newsletter.(Ref: T8CCR3400(b)) .
The article was authored by Sam Celly of Celly Services, Inc. Sam has been helping automobile dealers comply with EPA & OSHA regulations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii & Idaho since 1987. Sam received his BS & MS in Chemical Engineering followed by a JD from Southwestern University. Sam is a Certified Safety Professional & a Registered Environmental Assessor (CA). Your comments/questions are always welcome. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.