Students in a first aid class

New WorkSafeBC First Aid Regulatory Changes

Did you know that WorkSafeBC has updated its first aid guidelines? If you are an employer in BC, you must learn about the new first-aid regulatory changes.

First aid training and certification can be confusing, as there are so many options and agencies have different names for the courses. Don’t worry—we are here to help! We’ve presented some of the critical changes in the form of FAQs below. For the full details, please download WorkSafeBC’s Backgrounder: Occupational First Aid Regulatory Changes. The PDF link is at the end of this article.

First—the good news!

BC employers who were previously required to have staff trained as Level 2 attendants can now have them take the shorter, less expensive Red Cross Standard First Aid course!

Level 2 was a five-day, 35-hour course costing approximately $700.00 per person. Standard First Aid is a two-day, 16-hour course costing roughly $160.00. You will soon be able to get four people trained and certified in first aid for the price of one. Having more people skilled and able to handle emergencies will lead to a safer workplace and peace of mind for you as an employer. The shorter, lower-cost course requirement is also excellent news for your bottom line!

FAQs about the new first aid regulatory changes in BC

Q: When will the new BC first aid amendments take effect?

The amendments will become effective on November 1, 2024, providing plenty of time for employers to train their staff to the required level and purchase any additional equipment required by these changes. This extended timeline ensures a smooth transition and reduces potential stress for employers.

Q: What are the changes to the first aid courses and certificate names?

Alignment with CSA Z1210 – 17 affects course naming and course duration. Here are the current program names and duration, along with the new 2024 program names and duration:

OFA 1   1 day (8 hours)  = Basic First Aid 1 day (8 hours)

OFA 2   5 days (35 hours)  = Intermediate First Aid 2 days (16 hours)

OFA 3   10 days (70 hours)  = Advanced First Aid 10 days (70 hours)

Q: Where can I learn more about new WorkSafeBC first-aid regulatory changes?

First aid requirements are listed in Schedule 3-A of the OHS Regulation and have been in place with minimal updates since the early 2000s.

Q: What are the CSA standards for first aid?

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) issues the following standards, providing national guidance on workplace first aid training programs and first aid kits.:

  • CSA Z1210 – 17 First aid training for the workplace – Curriculum and quality management for training agencies.
  • CSA Z1220-17 First aid kits for the workplace.

Q: What are the key amendments to the regulation?

Employers must:

  1. Provide the supplies, facilities and first aid attendants required by Schedule 3-A
  2. Conduct a workplace risk assessment to determine any additional equipment, supplies, facilities, attendants, and services necessary to ensure injured workers can be quickly given first aid and transported for medical treatment.

Q: What factors determine the minimum levels of first aid supplies, facilities and attendants a BC workplace requires?

  • Number of workers at the workplace.
  • Hazard rating assigned to the industry.
  • Whether the workplace is “remote,” i.e. more than 30 minutes surface travel time from an ambulance station.
  • Whether the workplace is “less accessible” – meaning ambulances can’t safely get to it, or it includes one or more hazardous work areas that ambulance personnel can’t access.
  • For more detailed information on “less-accessible workplaces, please follow the link below.


Learn more about the WorkSafeBC first-aid regulatory changes on WorkSafeBC’s website via this link or download the Backgrounder Occupational first aid regulatory changes

Private group first aid training session in Coquitlam or Metro Vancouver | Request a quote

Standard/Intermediate First Aid | Learn more or register for a public class in Coquitlam

Emergency/Basic First Aid | Learn more or register for a public class in Coquitlam

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