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First aid in the workplace training

First aid in the workplace training is part of the First Aid in the Workplace Program for which the CNESST is responsible. Under this Program, the CNESST:

The employer’s obligations with respect to first aid

The employer must:

  • ensure that the number of first aiders required under the Regulation is present at all times
  • post the names of first aiders in a visible place (in French only) in a visible place 
    • Forest first aiders must be identified differently than first aiders who have completed the first aid in the workplace course (16 hours).
  • depending on the number of first aiders required, appoint workers who will be first aiders, while ensuring that the nature of their work does not compromise their ability to administer first aid promptly and efficiently
  • register the appointed workers for training. The training must be given by a CNESST-accredited training organization 
  • recognize that first aiders are considered to be at work and pay them during their training and each time they are required to intervene as first aiders during their work hours
  • provide an adequate number of first aid kits in the workplace in accordance with the standards

Number of first aiders required

An employer must ensure they have the required number of first aiders for their establishment or construction site. Depending on the workplace and the number of workers or volunteers per shift, the number of first aiders varies.

All establishments, except construction sites and forest development sites
Number of workers Number of first aiders required
50 or fewer workers 1 first aider
51 to 150 workers 2 first aiders
151 or more workers Add one first aider for each group of 100 workers
Example of the number of first aiders required

An establishment with 228 workers divided into 2 shifts should have a total of 5 first aiders.

Shift Number of workers Number of first aiders required
1st shift 155 workers 3 first aiders
2nd shift 53 workers 2 first aiders
Total 228 workers 5 first aiders
  • First shift: 155 workers are present. For 151 or more workers, 3 first aiders are required plus 1 first aider for every additional 100 workers. Three first aiders must be present for this shift.
  • Second shift: 53 workers are present. Between 51 and 150 workers, 2 first aiders must be present.
Construction site
Number of workers Number of first aiders required
10 to 50 workers 1 first aider
51 to 150 workers 2 first aiders
151 or more workers Add one first aider for each group of 100 workers

 

Forest development work
Number of workers Number of first aiders required (Person who has completed a 16-hour course in first aid in the workplace)
5 or fewer workers 1 first aider
6 to 10 workers 2 first aiders
11 workers or more Add one first aider for each group of 5 workers

Specific provisions for first aid for forest development work

A first aider who has completed 40 hours of training specific to the forestry sector must be present at all times on a forestry work site where there are 10 or more workers. The presence of an additional forest first aider is mandatory for every 10 additional workers. The employer must provide for the replacement of a forest first aider who may be absent by training 1 or more additional first aiders to the minimum required.

If there are 9 or fewer workers, a forest first aider is not required to be present. The employer must ensure that it is possible to contact a forest first aider, a nurse, a paramedic emergency medical technician or a physician in the event of an accident. This communication must be effective to allow the person contacted to give first aid instructions to the person in the field.

Contacting 911 does not replace this requirement

16-hour first aid in the workplace course

To become a first aider, a worker must complete a 16-hour course given by one of the CNESST-accredited training organizations (in French only). Every first aider must renew their occupational first aid certificate by taking the course again every 3 years.

How to register a worker for a first aid course

To register a worker for the 16-hour first aid in the workplace course, an employer must complete the Application for a first aid course (in French only) form and send it to the CNESST-accredited training organization they have chosen.

Laws and regulations

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