Is Online First Aid Training Enough?

  editor |   Training & Awareness

first aid training

Today’s Expert:

Glenn Demby, Esq., OSHA attorney and editor-in-chief of SafetySmart Compliance


The only first aid training we provide to workers is online, computer-based training. Is this enough to meet OSHA training requirements?

— Name withheld




Several OSHA standards require workers to be trained to deliver first aid and/or CPR (Sec. 1910.151)—in general and in connection with specific dangerous operations like entries into permit-required confined spaces (Sec. 1910.146) and logging operations (Sec. 1910.266). In a recent interpretation letter, OSHA indicated that it doesn’t consider online training alone enough to meet these training requirements.

According to OSHA, “these standards require training in physical skills, such as bandaging and CPR. The only way these physical skills can be learned is by actually practicing them.” In OSHA’s opinion, simply sitting down at a computer and taking online training doesn’t deliver the kind of hand-on training necessary to comply.

Exception: However, the letter also implies that computer-based online training might satisfy the OSHA requirements if it also includes:

  • A hand-on skill component; or
  • Verification by a qualified trainer that the worker can perform the skill competently.

For More Help

Go to the SafetySmart Compliance Safety Training Compliance Center for analysis and tools you can use to deliver compliant safety training to your workers:

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