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Legal Memorandum: Onsite First Aid Services to Employees

Issue: What first aid or other provisions must an employer have on site according to Kentucky and Federal law?

Area of Law: Employee Law
Keywords: First aid provisions; Workplace
Jurisdiction: Federal, Kentucky
Cited Cases: 977 S.W.2d 250
Cited Statutes: 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1030; 803 Ky. Admin. Reg. 2:310(1); 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1030; Ky. Rev. Stat. § 311.667; Ky. Rev. Stat. § 311.667
Date: 10/01/2008

The Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Act contains stricter workplace requirements than the federal OSHA.  Under federal OSHA regulations, an employer need only ensure that adequate first aid services are available to its employees.  Employers can meet this obligation by ensuring either that there is adequate on-site first aid coverage or the workplace is within a reasonable distance from a hospital, clinic, or other place where medical attention can be provided.  29 C.F.R. § 1910.1030.  The KOSHA, however, requires every employer with eight or more employees to designate a first responder in the workplace to provide first aid and medical assistance.  803 Ky. Admin. Reg. 2:310(1).  While the regulation does not specifically state that this first responder must have CPR training, Kentucky law does require that the employer comply with federal regulations on bloodborne pathogens.  See Sec. of Labor v. Irvin H. Whitehouse & Sons, 977 S.W.2d 250 (Ky. Ct. App. 1998); 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1030.  However, in 1986, OSHA interpreted language requiring employer-provided first aid training in the construction industry to not necessarily require CPR training for compliance with the regulation.  Letter from John B. Miles, OSHA Director, to Gregory Sut (Dec. 31, 1986).  The federal OSHA regulation “allows employers to tailor the specific details of their first aid and medical services program, depending on the circumstances of each workplace and employer.”  Letter from Richard E. Fairfax, OSHA Director, to David Nakama (Nov. 1, 2005).  Accordingly, while an employer with more than eight employees must designate and […]

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