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 https://www.osha.gov.

February 2, 2007

Leanne D. Cress
P. O. Box 223
Palomar Mountain, CA 92060

Dear Ms. Cress:

Your November 23, 2006 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been referred to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs for response. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question or scenario not delineated within your original correspondence. You asked if it was mandatory for all workplaces to provide a first aid kit.

Title 29 CFR 1910.151(b) states: "In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for 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."

Employers may elect not to provide first aid services if all such services will be provided by a hospital, infirmary, or clinic in near proximity to the workplace. If the employer has persons who are trained in first aid, then adequate first aid supplies must be readily available for use. Therefore, employers are required to provide first aid supplies that are most appropriate to respond to incidents at their workplaces. OSHA allows employers to provide first aid supplies specific to the needs of their workplace.

Although we have provided our interpretation of the federal standard, twenty-six states, including California, operate their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health programs.  These State-plan States adopt and enforce their own standards, which may have different requirements from the federal standards regarding medical services and supplies.  The California Department of Industrial Relations (Cal-OSHA) administers the state plan program. Cal-OSHA standards are accessible on the state's website —
http://www.dir.ca.gov/occupational_safety.html. If you would like more information about California workplace safety and health regulations, the address is as follows:

John Rea, Acting Director
California Department of Industrial Relations
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1901
Oakland, California 94612

(415) 703-5050
FAX (415) 703-5058

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs