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OSHA Offers Best Practices Guide for First Aid Programs

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2006 -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program, a new guide to help employers and employees develop workplace first aid programs.

"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 coworker 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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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