First aid

Last Updated: March 1, 2022

First aid is emergency care given immediately to an injured person.

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First aid helps prevent injury and future disability. In serious cases, it may save a life.

First aid services are required under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

The level of first aid at your workplace is determined by:

  • Staff numbers
  • Proximity to a hospital
  • Activities of the workplace

Use the First Aid Needs Assessment ToolIDIR restricted to find out your workplace first aid requirements and create a first aid response procedure for your workplace.

First aid attendants (FAA) roles and responsibilities

First aid attendants are responsible for:

  • Providing prompt first aid within the scope of their training
  • Recording all observed and reported signs and symptoms of injuries, including exposure to hazardous materials
  • Referring injured employees to further medical assistance as needed, such as when the level of required care exceeds the scope of their training.
  • Being physically and mentally capable of providing first aid
  • Assuming responsibility and authority over the injured until the responsibility for treatment is accepted at another medical facility, by someone with a higher level of first aid training, or by a paramedic

First aid kits

Most workplaces will need a first aid kit. Review the workplace first aid kit requirements (PDF 297KB).

You can get a kit from local safety supply firms and through the Product Distribution Centre.

Ask your designated ministry contact to see what first aid equipment has already been purchased and is available within the ministry.

If your workplace needs more first aid supplies, follow ministry procedures for purchases through the Product Distribution Centre.

WorkSafeBC has more information about first aid kits.

First aid certification and training

Learn more about first aid attendant certification and training and find WorkSafeBC approved first aid training providers.

First aid records

First aid records must be kept for 3 years for all injuries and illnesses that are reported or treated.

First aid records are confidential and restricted to individuals who need access for reasons related to the workplace safety and health program.

Individual names in records will be removed where required by law, policy or regulation.

These records must be available for inspection by WorkSafeBC upon request.

Employees are entitled to copies of their own first aid record. An employee may request or authorize access to their first aid records to others.

Sharing first aid resources

Sharing first aid services such as first aid attendants, facilities or equipment at your workplace can help you as well as helping those who may share the service.

However, sharing may also increase the amount of attendants and supplies required.

This may create access issues and possibly increase the overall cost of providing first aid.

Each workplace must first make sure that it has enough first aid resources by using the First Aid Needs Assessment ToolIDIR restricted.

Step 2 of the tool shows you how to share first aid, and you can refer to sample sharing agreements as an example for making your own plans.

Hepatitis B vaccination

Hepatitis B is an incurable infectious disease that can be contracted by exposure to infected blood and bodily fluids.

If you're a first aid attendant, get vaccinated.

If you need more information, read more about workplace exposures.