Page 32 - OHS, June 2022
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OSHA & CPR: Who’s Required to Know It and Who’s Not?
OSHA’s standards outline a few specific industries where CPR training is required.
ealth and safety. These two words carry a lot of weight for an employer. It’s making sure barriers are in place to prevent accidents. It’s keeping workers up-to-date on information and training. It’s ensuring workers have
the correct PPE. As an employer, it’s your job to make sure your workers get home every day, safe and sound.
Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, every employer is responsible for keeping workers safe. “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”1
The health and safety of your workers should be a number one priority. But what is your responsibility to keep workers safe from incidents that are out of your control, like a heart attack?
Every year, according to the American Heart Association, there are more than 135 million cardiovascular deaths in the world.2 Of the ones that happen out of the hospital, the survival rate is only two to 11 percent. In the United States, more than 500,000 people experience cardiac arrests, and less than 15 percent survive.
In workplaces in the U.S., there are 10,000 cardiac arrests every year. If these workers receive immediate defibrillation, the survival rate can be as high as 60 percent. If they don’t, the survival rate is as low as five to seven percent.3
The minutes after a cardiac arrest are critical. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, or an automated external defibrillator, or AED, can greatly increase the chance of survival. However, the American Heart Association notes that only half of workers know where an AED is located.4
The value of knowing CPR and how to use an AED is
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immeasurable. As an employer, are you required to train your workers in CPR and AED use? What does OSHA say about certification? OSHA’s guidelines on CPR training are not very detailed and are therefore open to interpretation. There are a few industries where OSHA requires employees to be CPR certified. OSHA outlines these in various standards and in its publication, “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards.”5
Required Industries
The industries where OSHA requires CPR certification for some workers include logging, electrical, dive team and confined spaces.
Logging. Some workers in the logging industry are required to be CPR trained under OSHA Standard 1910.266. This training must “remain current” and meet specific requirements, outlined in Appendix B.6
Electrical. In the electrical industry, specific workers must be certified in CPR if they work on exposed lines or “equipment energized at 50 volts or more.” If there are two or more employees at one location, at least two must be CPR trained. But, if new hires are certified within the first three months, only one person needs to be certified. In addition, when working at stationary locations, OSHA does not outline a specific number of people that need to be certified. Rather, OSHA says that enough people must be certified to guarantee that if an incident occurs, there is someone who can reach the person in four minutes.7
Confined Spaces. Workers in permit-required confined spaces must be trained in CPR. At least one worker on the rescue and emergency services teams is to be trained and remain current in CPR training, according to OSHA Standard 1910.146.8

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