First aid rules changing for P.E.I. employers

Amendments to Prince Edward Island's occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations relating to first aid will come into force on Jan. 31, 2013, the province's Workers Compensation Board has announced.

“In an ideal world, first aid would not be a necessity at work,” said Workers Compensation Board chair Nancy Guptill. “But until workplace injuries are eliminated on P.E.I., we must ensure that safety risks are adequately assessed and that we are prepared to respond in an emergency.”

The amendments to section nine of the OHS regulations will put additional measures in place to protect workers and employers, while reflecting the various hazard levels in the different types of workplaces in P.E.I., the board said.

Some of the upcoming regulation changes include the following:

- First aid requirements for low hazard workplaces, including training requirements for first aid providers, will be reflected in the regulations.
- In workplaces not considered to be low hazard, a first aid room will be required where there are 100 or more workers per shift.
- First aid providers will be required in workplaces with less than five workers.
- Workplaces with as few as one worker will require a first aid kit.

Due to the availability of on-site medical treatment, hospitals and nursing homes will be exempt from the new regulations.

P.E.I. employers and workers are encouraged to visit the OHS Act and Regulations section of the Workers Compensation Board website for more information about the amendments.