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First aid attendants

If you're an employer, you are responsible for first aid at your workplace. This includes having the right number of first aid attendants on site who have a first aid certificate at the required level issued from a WorkSafeBC-approved agency.

Your first aid assessment and Schedule 3-A: Minimum Levels of First Aid will help you determine whether your workplace is required to have a first aid attendant(s) on site. Your first aid assessment will also identify what certification each attendant should have.

Each first aid attendant must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have successfully completed a first aid training course or first aid examination developed or approved by WorkSafeBC.
  • Have a first aid certificate in good standing at the level required issued by WorkSafeBC or an agency approved by WorkSafeBC (see samples of first aid certificates accepted in B.C.).

First aid attendant responsibilities

As an employer, you must ensure your first aid attendants understand their responsibilities and fulfill them to the best of their abilities. These responsibilities include:

  • Promptly providing injured workers with a level of care within the scope of each attendant's training.
  • Objectively recording reported signs and symptoms of injuries and/or exposures.
  • Referring injured workers to medical treatment if injuries are serious or beyond the scope of an attendant's training.
  • Being physically and mentally capable of safely and effectively performing all related duties.

Anyone in the process of achieving his or her Occupational First Aid Level 2 or Level 3 certification must submit an Occupational First Aid Statement of Fitness to the training agency before a certificate will be issued. WorkSafeBC may also, at any time, require that a first aid attendant provide a medical certificate of fitness. For more information about these forms, see Forms and Records.

Availability of first aid attendant

At the worksite, the first aid attendant must always be available to provide treatment as quickly as possible if a worker is injured. As an employer, this means you must not assign the attendant work tasks that could interfere with his or her ability to provide immediate first aid treatment.

To ensure timely and effective first aid services are always available in your workplace, here are a few key things to consider:

  • During all working hours, attendants must be present in the area they serve — even when workers may not actually be working, such as during lunch or coffee breaks.
  • Attendants, first aid equipment, and facilities must be ready to receive injured workers within three to five minutes of being called.
  • At each worksite, the central first aid service should be within 10 minutes of all workers.

Backup for absent first aid attendants

Sometimes, the regular workplace first aid attendant will be away from the workplace. Absences might be planned, such as vacations or appointments. They might also be unplanned, such as if an attendant is ill or some other circumstance arises.

As an employer, you are expected to have procedures in place to provide proper coverage for absences. In the case of planned absences, a substitute first aid attendant should be ready to take over all related duties. For unplanned absences, a substitute attendant must be in place by the halfway point of a shift.

Related resources

If you're looking for information about first aid attendant training or how to become certified, visit our training page.