August 4, 2023
On June 8, 2023, WorkSafeBC released approved amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation regarding workplace first aid. These amendments, which will take effect on November 1, 2024, will place a greater emphasis on high-risk, remote workplaces, and are intended to harmonize the regulation with the first aid training and first aid provision national framework, set out by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
As November 1, 2024 approaches, employers will need to transition their current first aid program to meet these new requirements, including the following key considerations:
- Updates to conducting First Aid Assessments
- must be written/documented
- reviewed and updated annually, or whenever a significant operational change occurs
- reviewed by the JHSC or worker health & safety representative
- Changes to classifying workplaces (Classes 1- 4) in Schedule 3-A
- Class 1: a workplace other than class 2, 3, or 4
- Class 2: a workplace that is remote but not less-accessible
- Class 3: a workplace that is less-accessible but not remote
- Class 4: a workplace that is both remote and less-accessible
- New mandatory requirements for first aid procedures, drills, kits, and certificates
- Procedural review and conducting a drill must be done annually or whenever procedures change to ensure procedures are effective and workers and attendants are capable of fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.
- First aid kits should meet CSA Z1220-17
- First aid training should meet CSA Z1210-17
- Specific requirements to provide emergency transportation for an injured worker, if an ambulance cannot safely reach the workplace within 30 minutes (in certain situations)
- Employer-provided emergency transportation must be capable of safely transporting the injured worker and first aid attendant with effective communication protocols between the driver and the attendant. It should be designed and equipped to ensure the injured worker is secure and protected from natural elements and dust. Normal body temperature must be maintained and there must be adequate space for the first aid attendant to safely provide first aid during transport.
- Refer to Schedule 3-A to determine when emergency transportation is required.
- Additional direction for dressing stations, first aid rooms, and overnight care
- Dressing stations and first aid rooms must be located as near as practicably possible to work areas, be kept clean and sanitary, have a sink with warm and cold potable water, adequate signage, and be large enough for an injured worker, first aid attendant, and all the equipment to fit inside.
- Overnight care facilities are required for locations that are required to have a first aid room and where under normal travel conditions, hospitals are further than 2 hours away.
Employers are encouraged to take a phased approach to the changes. Graduated guidance and recommendations will be developed and published between now and November 2024 to assist tourism and hospitality employers in this transition. go2HR will circulate these updates so employers can plan and implement these changes accordingly.
Employer to-do list:
- Review the First Aid Amendments, and Backgrounder published by WorkSafeBC
- Download the Recommended Implementation Timeline and make a note of any key dates
- Start thinking about what the upcoming changes will mean for your workplace
- Keep your eyes open for updates (on this page and through e-blasts)
- Add this webpage to your favourites
- Sign up for employer newsletters and e-blasts
Have questions about these changes or need help with another workplace health and safety matter? Contact our team of experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-633-9787.
go2HR is the Human Resources and Health & Safety Association for BC’s tourism and hospitality industry. Our role is to drive strong workforces and safe workplaces that deliver world-class tourism and hospitality experiences in British Columbia.