Employee First Aid Training Requirements in Ontario

In Ontario, maintaining a safe workplace is not just a best practice but a legal requirement. This is particularly evident when it comes to first aid training for employees.

Every business in Ontario that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act covers is required to have first aid equipment, facilities and trained personnel in all workplaces in accordance with Regulation 1101 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

Note that this is NOT The same as ALL businesses in Ontario, as some are federally regulated.

This article delves into the necessity of first aid training, detailing what is needed, the process, and the significance of such training in the workplace.

Understanding Ontario’s First Aid Training Requirements

Regulation 1101

Accidents can happen at any time, and being prepared can be the difference between life and death in the workplace.

Regulation 1101 of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act underscores the critical importance of having at least one First Aid Certified employee present on your premises at all times.

This isn’t just a bureaucratic requirement; it’s a powerful mandate aimed at ensuring the safety of every employee.

Understanding the Requirements

Now that we’ve established the importance and process of first aid certification, let’s delve into the specific requirements laid out by Regulation 1101:

Number of Trained First Aiders: The number of trained first aiders required in a workplace depends on the size of the workforce and the shift schedule. If five or fewer employees work on any shift, at least one employee must have an emergency first aid certificate. If six or more employees work on any shift, at least one employee must have a standard first aid certificate.

The ratio of First Aiders: Although there is no set ratio, it is recommended that the ratio is based on assessing the workplace’s size and layout. At a minimum, at least one person with a valid first aid certificate who can reach an injured person within two minutes must be on-site at all times.

Employees Working Alone: While Regulation 1101 does not specifically address people working alone, solo workers should receive emergency first aid training as a best practice. Additionally, all employees should have access to first aid supplies.

Managers & Supervisors: Managers and supervisors with health and safety responsibilities should be aware that the regulation’s requirements are nuanced to fit the scale of their operations. It is cost-effective to have more than the minimum number of employees trained to avoid challenges when unexpected staff changes occur.

First Aid Certification: More Than Just Compliance

For Managers & Supervisors:
The regulation’s guidelines are tailored to fit various operations scales, ensuring appropriate first aid support for all employees.

Going Beyond the Minimum:
Having more employees trained in first aid than the minimum requirement is necessary. It prepares businesses for unforeseen circumstances like absenteeism or turnover.

Competitive Advantage:
Investing in first aid certification is not only about legal adherence but also about gaining a competitive edge. It showcases a business’s commitment to safety and well-being.

First Aid Training with Rescue 7

Rescue 7 offers diverse training programs, including Emergency/Basic First Aid with CPR & AED and Standard/Intermediate First Aid with CPR & AED.

These programs are available in both traditional and blended eLearning formats, accommodating different learning preferences and schedules.

Steps for First Aid Certification:

Choose a WSIB-Approved Training Provider: The first step in obtaining first aid certification in Ontario is to select a training provider approved by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Ensure that the provider you choose is recognized by WSIB, as certification from non-approved organizations may not meet regulatory requirements.

Select the Appropriate First Aid Course: Depending on the size of your workplace and the specific needs of your employees, determine whether you need standard first aid training or emergency first aid training. This decision is based on the number of employees per shift, with larger groups typically requiring standard first aid certification.

Enroll in the Course: Once you’ve identified a WSIB-approved training provider and the appropriate course, enroll in the program. Many providers offer flexible scheduling options, including in-person, online, or blended (a combination of online and in-class) courses to accommodate different learning preferences and busy schedules.

Complete the Training: Attend the training sessions, whether in-person or online, and actively participate in the learning process. Pay close attention to the instructor’s guidance and practice the skills taught during the course.

Pass the Assessment: Most first aid certification courses include an assessment to evaluate your understanding and application of first aid principles. To receive certification, you typically need to achieve a passing grade on the assessment.

Receive your Certificate: Upon completing the course and assessment, you will receive a first aid certificate. This certificate proves that you have received the necessary training and are qualified to provide first aid in the workplace.

Keep your Certification Updated: First aid certification usually has an expiration date, typically within two to three years. It’s essential to keep your certification current by attending refresher courses and renewing your certificate before it expires.

Frequently Asked Questions about First Aid Certification:

How often does first aid certification need to be renewed?

First aid certification must typically be renewed every two to three years, depending on the training organization’s guidelines.

It’s crucial to check the expiration date on your certificate and enroll in a recertification course before it lapses.

Can I complete first aid training online?

No, only blended eLearning is approved. There are NO approved online first aid courses available.

What should I do if my workplace has employees working alone?

While Regulation 1101 does not specifically address employees working alone, solo workers should receive emergency first aid training as a precautionary measure.

Additionally, all employees, including those working alone, should have access to first aid supplies.

Are businesses responsible for covering the cost of first aid training and supplies?

Yes, businesses are generally responsible for covering the cost of first aid training for their employees and providing and maintaining first aid supplies and equipment in the workplace.

What should I do if I lose my first aid certificate?

If you lose your first aid certificate, you can typically contact the training provider that issued it and request a duplicate certificate for a fee. Be sure to keep a copy of your certificate in a safe place to avoid such situations.

Can I become a first aid instructor?

Yes, if you have extensive first aid knowledge and experience, you may be eligible to become a certified first aid instructor. Contact a WSIB-approved training organization for information on instructor certification programs.

Is there a specific ratio of trained first aiders to employees required by law?

While there is no fixed ratio specified in the regulation, it is recommended that the ratio of trained first aiders be based on an assessment of the workplace’s size and layout.

The key is to ensure that at least one person with a valid first aid certificate is always available on-site to respond to emergencies promptly.


First aid training in the workplace is a critical component of occupational health and safety. It fulfills legal obligations and equips employees with the skills necessary to respond to emergencies, fostering a safer work environment.

Whether through traditional or blended learning methods, obtaining this training is a step toward enhancing safety, compliance, and overall workplace well-being.

By prioritizing first aid training, businesses in Ontario not only adhere to regulations but also contribute to a culture of safety and preparedness.