Skip to content

OSHA 1910.151 – Medical Services/First Aid: Focus on AEDs

“Preparing for medical issues at work is critical for safety leaders across all industries. Employees can be reluctant to help in these situations if they are not sure what to do. ZOLL Public Safety products are designed to offer bystanders the equipment and guidance they need to manage a variety of medical emergencies. ZOLL automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and Mobilize Rescue Systems™ provide real-time, step-by-step instructions, giving bystanders the confidence and support needed.”  ZOLL Medical Corporation, 800-804-4356,

© Егор Кулинич –

First aid is medical attention that is administered immediately after an injury occurs. It is typically a one-time, short-term treatment that is not intended to replace care rendered by a medical professional if the injury is a serious one. First aid can include cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches; treating a minor burn; applying bandages and dressings; the use of non-prescription medicine; draining blisters; removing debris or corrosive substances from the eyes; using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restore a heartbeat or an effective rhythm in someone who has suffered a cardiac event.

1910.151 has three provisions:

  • In the absence of an infirmary, clinic or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first-aid supplies shall be readily available.
  • The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health.
  • Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.

What Constitutes Adequate First-Aid Supplies?

A basic first-aid kit for any workplace should include: bandages, cloth tape, gauze and gauze pads, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, an emergency blanket, instant cold compress, nonlatex gloves, a thermometer and tweezers.

AEDs should also be a part of any workplace first-aid program. Most sudden cardiac deaths occur outside of the hospital. Workplace events such as electrocution or exposure to low oxygen environments can lead to a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Overexertion at work can also trigger SCA in those with underlying heart disease. Scarring of the heart tissue from a previous heart attack,

thickened heart muscle, blood vessel abnormalities and recreational drug use are among the causes of cardiac arrest. Whatever the underlying conditions, a cardiac arrest can happen quickly. Having AEDs and employees who are trained in the use of it and in administering CPR can mean the difference between survival and death when a person experiences a cardiac arrest.

A lifesaving technology that has become – through innovations – increasingly user-friendly, AEDs provide the critical and necessary treatment for SCA events caused by ventricular fibrillation, the uncoordinated beating of the heart leading to collapse and death. Using AEDs as soon as possible after SCA can restore the fibrillating heart to normal and increase the victim’s chances for survival. OSHA recommends that each workplace should assess its own requirements for an AED program as part of its first-aid response.

Locations and Training

Employees must be informed and regularly reminded about the location of AEDs in a facility, so that if a cardiac emergency occurs, they are able to access and use the AED promptly. Using an AED as soon as possible after sudden cardiac arrest, within 3-4 minutes, improves the victim’s chances of survival by 60%. Having an AED on-site is not enough; workers must be trained in how to administer it. CPR training is also important; using CPR on someone who collapses suddenly and has no pulse supports the circulation and ventilation of the victim until an electric shock delivered by an AED can restore the fibrillating heart to normal.

When choosing AEDs for the workplace, the focus should be on AEDs that are designed for lay rescuers to use. Available features include voice and text prompts; automatic shock delivery, dual-language functionality and self-tests that keep rescuers refreshed on use procedures. Check to see whether the AED aligns with American Heart Association and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Education and Research Center (ERC) guidelines.

Customize Your  First-Aid Program

A comprehensive safety and health management system should begin with an assessment of workplace risks that have potential to cause worker injury or illness. Based on that information, a program should be designed that:

  • Minimizes the outcome of accidents or exposures
  • Complies with OSHA requirements relating to first aid
  • Has sufficient quantities of appropriate and readily accessible first-aid supplies and first-aid equipment, such as bandages and AEDs.
  • Assigns and trains first-aid providers who:
  • receive first-aid training suitable to the specific workplace
  • receive periodic refresher courses on first-aid skills and knowledge

If there Is awareness of workers’ health conditions, first-aid products to address their needs should be on hand. For instance, if someone has a severe allergy, antihistamine medicine and an epinephrine injector may be appropriate. Juice boxes or glucose tablets and gels can be used to treat an insulin reaction, in which a diabetic’s blood sugar levels drop to dangerous lows.

View the standard at:

OSHA’s Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program is available at: WMHS

Share on Socials!

Related Articles

Related Articles

Ergodyne Increases Safety Measures in Response to OSHA Announcement

In response to the recent announcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Warehousing and Distribution Center Operations, safety ...
Read More

Mallory’s ENSA Dials-Up Telecommunications At-Height Training

Mallory Safety and Supply, the largest independent safety distributor in the Western United States, today announced the company has introduced advanced new ISO9001-Certified Telecommunications at-height safety ...
Read More

A+A 2021: Strong Commitment of Industry for World’s Leading Trade Fair for Safety, Security and Health at Work

Exhibitor database goes live August 2 “A+A Connected” stands for a hybrid trade fair experience The OSH industry looks forward to A+A as a physical trade ...
Read More

Follow WMHS!


Ind Hygiene


Scroll To Top