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First aid program

All employers covered by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act (WSIA) must follow the first aid requirements in Regulation 1101 (PDF).

Here are some of the requirements:

  • Workplaces must have at least one employee on site at all times that has a valid first aid certificate from a WSIB-approved training organization.
  • Employers must cover any costs for first aid equipment and services.
  • Employers must inspect first aid equipment at least once every three months.
  • First aid stations must be easy to find and near an employee who has a valid first aid certificate.
  • Employers must post the "In case of injury poster (Form 82)", first aid certificates and kit inspection card in an area that all employees can easily access.
  • Employers must keep a detailed record of all incidents and any first aid treatment given.

First aid requirements apply to all employees regardless of their employment status and for all workplaces, including off-site work locations. 

Frequently asked questions

What first aid training is a workplace required to provide?

According to Regulation 1101, all workplaces in Ontario covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) must provide first aid training to their employees.

The required training depends on the number of people working per shift at a workplace:

  • For workplaces with five or fewer people working on any one shift, at least one must have an emergency first aid certificate. This program is 6.5 hours long and is offered by organizations across the province.
  • For workplaces with six or more people working on any shift, at least one must have a standard first aid certificate. This program is 13 hours long and is offered by organizations across the province.

Who counts as an employee for the purposes for first aid?

An employee, or a worker in the WSIA, is a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation. A definition is available on the Ministry of Labour’s website.

Who can be a first aider?

Anyone can become a first aider (or a valid first aid certificate holder). A first aider should be able to provide prompt treatment. For example, you should not choose someone to be a first aider if they often work off-site or in closed-door meetings.

What is the required ratio of first aiders to employees?

There is no required ratio of trained first aiders to total employees under Regulation 1101. Workplaces must have at least one person on site at all times who has a valid first aid certificate (according to the number of people working per shift).

It is a best practice for employers to assess their workplace to determine how many first aiders they need based on things like the size and layout of the workplace. For example, a first aider should be able to reach an injured person within two minutes.

All employees, regardless of their employment status, must be given first aid treatment when they need it.

Who can deliver first aid training?

Training must be delivered by a WSIB-approved first aid training provider.

First aid training providers can subcontract to independent third-party providers. The names of these subcontracted providers are not included in the list of WSIB-approved providers.

All certificates for workplace first aid training, including those provided through independent third-party training providers, must be issued by the WSIB-approved provider to be compliant with Regulation 1101.

If you are not sure if a first aid training provider is subcontracted by a WSIB-approved provider, you can contact the approved provider to confirm before you purchase a service.

How often does training need to be renewed?

Most first aid certificates are valid for a maximum of three years. Training providers may set a higher standard and issue their certificates with a two-year validation period

Before your certificate expires you will need to complete the training again to maintain your certification.

You can renew your standard first aid certificate one time by completing a one-day standard first aid renewal course with the original provider before your original certificate expires. The new certificate will state “renewal” on it.

If you have already renewed your standard first aid certificate once, you will need to earn a new certificate from an approved provider when your renewed certificate expires.

Is there an option to complete first aid training online?

There are currently no approved online-only programs that meet the criteria for first aid training. Online programs do not allow participants to show that they have learned the required skills.

There are some approved blended programs that use online learning for first aid theory learning, with skill demonstrations in a classroom with an instructor.

Are employers responsible for covering the cost of first aid training and supplies?

Yes. Employers are required to cover the cost of first aid training and supplies. This includes covering wage costs for an employee’s time while they are completing an approved first aid training program.

Is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training the same as first aid training?

No, CPR training is not the same as first aid training. There is a CPR component to first aid training recognized by the WSIB. Any of the following, when taken as part of an approved emergency first aid or standard first aid program, would meet the requirements for the CPR component in Regulation 1101:

  • CPR A: includes CPR techniques for adults only.
  • CPR B: includes CPR techniques for adults and children.
  • CPR C: includes CPR techniques for adults, children and infants.
  • CPR-HCP (Healthcare provider): covers all aspects of CPR skills and theory for adult, child and infant victims, including rescue breathing (artificial respiration) and the use of AEDs and bag-valve-masks (BVM).

Does the WSIB accept certificates from other provinces?

Yes. If you have a first aid certificate from an approved provider in another province, we will accept the certificate until it expires. After the certificate expires, you must complete your first aid training with a WSIB-approved provider in Ontario.

Where should I have a first aid kit?

First aid kits should be part of a first aid station. You should place first aid stations strategically throughout your workplace. Your first aid stations should include:

  • a first aid kit
  • the “In Case of Injury” poster
  • a first aid inspection card
  • a list of the first aiders in that area

Where should you have first aid stations? How many should you have?

When you have multiple buildings, you should treat each building as an individual workplace. All vehicles used for work purposes, including personal vehicles, should also have a first aid kit and supplies.

What contents are required in first aid kits?

You can find the list of required items in Sections 8 to 13 of Regulation 1101. The list is different depending on the size of the workforce.

You should also include a pocket mask or other barrier device and multiple pairs of non-latex gloves in your first aid kit.

How many first aid kits are required at a workplace?

There is no ratio of first aid kits to employees. You need to make sure that first aid kits are easily accessible so that people can reach or access a first aid kit quickly.

A first aid kit should be portable and should NOT be kept in a locked cabinet, drawer or room. It should be in an area where it is visible or marked with a sign identifying its location.

Where can I find first aid boxes (or kits)?

You can put together a first aid kit using the first aid kit/room lists from Regulation 1101 or you can purchase ready-made first aid kits from a supplier of your choice. We do not endorse any particular first aid kit vendor.

Where can I find the mandatory “In Case of Injury” poster required for all first aid stations?

You can find the poster (also known as Form 82) on our website.

Should over-the-counter medication, prescription medication or ointments be included in first aid kits?

Over-the-counter medications cannot be included in first aid kits.

Do not provide medication to someone who has been injured or is ill. It could lead to an allergic reaction or could mask the severity of the injury or illness, which could delay getting needed medical attention.

In training, first aiders are not taught to use these items. Providing medication or applying ointment is outside the scope of what first aiders are taught to do.

EpiPens® are not required under Regulation 1101 and should not be included in the first aid kits.

Are there alternative supplies workplaces can include in first aid kits?

Yes, some alternatives are approved for first aid kit contents. They include:

  • dressing forceps = single use tweezers
  • dressing scissors = single use scissors
  • denatured ethyl alcohol = single use antiseptic wipes
  • adhesive plaster and dressing = adhesive bandages
  • instrument sterilizer = no longer used by first aiders – use single use items and discard
  • enamel footbath = can use a stainless steel bowl.

Are employers required to have automated external defibrillators (AED) at their workplaces?

AEDs are not required under Regulation 1101. 

What are the requirements for workers who work off-site or in small crews?

The first aid requirements for employees working off-site are the same as for employess working on-site (e.g., first aid stations and certified first aiders).

All work crews must have adequate first aid supplies and a trained first aider according to the size of the crew. 

What are the requirements for people working alone?

Regulation 1101 does not have requirements around people working alone. However, working alone should be considered a hazard. All employees should have access to first aid supplies. As a best practice, employees who work alone should have emergency first aid training.

What is required to comply with Ministry of Education (EDU) Regulation 137/15 of the Child Care and Early Years Act?

If you have questions about Regulation 137/15 of the Child Care and Early Years Act, you can contact the Ministry of Education. We administer First Aid Regulation 1101 under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

Is the WSIB accepting new applications from prospective first aid training providers?

We are not accepting any new applications from prospective workplace first aid training providers at this time.

If you would like to be added to the list of potential providers, please email first_aid@wsib.on.ca, and we will let you know when we are considering new providers.

At this time, we are not accepting any new applications from prospective workplace first aid training providers.

 

Have questions?

For more information call 416-344-1016 (toll-free 1-800-663-6639) or email First_Aid@wsib.on.ca

 

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