Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

February 9, 1994

Ms. Rachel Greathouse
Safety Engineer
Courtaulds Coatings
P.O. Box 1439
Louisville, Kentucky 40201-1439

Dear Ms. Greathouse:

Thank you for your inquiry of October 1, 1993, requesting interpretation of the term "in near proximity" in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.151(b). We apologize for the delay in our response.

In areas where accidents resulting in suffocation, severe bleeding, or other life threatening or permanently disabling injury or illness can be expected, a 3 to 4 minute response time, from time of injury to time of administering first aid, is required. In other circumstances, i.e., where a life-threatening or permanently disabling injury is an unlikely outcome of an accident, a longer response time such as 15 minutes is acceptable.

Where first aid treatment cannot be administered to injured employees by outside professionals within the required response time for the expected types of injuries, a person or persons within the facility shall be adequately trained to render first aid.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Roger A. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs