OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 11 First Aid

Section 179 Location of first aid

The employer is responsible for ensuring that first aid services, equipment and supplies are available at the work site. A first aid room need only be provided in cases where

(a) there are 200 or more workers per shift performing medium hazard work (see Table 6 of Schedule 2), or
(b) there are 100 or more workers per shift performing high hazard work (see Table 7 of Schedule 2).

Equipment and Supplies

First aid services, equipment and supplies must be quickly and easily accessible during all working hours. First aid equipment and supplies must be ready for use and protected from the elements so that their usefulness is not affected by exposure to heat, cold, wind and moisture. The equipment and supplies, or more often the containers in which they are stored, must be clearly marked to indicate that they are intended for first aid.

Informing Workers

If signs are posted at the work site to indicate the location of first aid services, equipment, and supplies, the signs should be visible, easy to understand and appropriate to the workforce. Where signs are not practicable, workers must be informed of the location of the services, equipment and supplies by other means such as printed materials or verbal instructions.

If members of the workforce have difficulty reading or understanding English, signs and printed materials (if they are used) should use easily understood symbols or include translations. Verbal instructions should be provided to workers in the language they understand, perhaps through a co-worker acting as interpreter.

Emergency Communication System

Employers are required to have in place an emergency communication system so that first aid services can be summoned to an ill or injured worker. The type of system or approach to providing emergency communication is at the discretion of the employer. It may involve the use of telephones, cellular telephones, satellite telephones, portable two-way radios, or other means that are equally effective. The intent of the requirement is to make sure that ill or injured workers can access first aid services quickly and reliably.