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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not require first aid kits in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). If you have them in your fleet, however, make sure your drivers and other personnel are inspecting and updating them on a regular basis.

In fact, now is a perfect time to review the contents of your first aid kits because there’s a new standard for what they should contain.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which helps set national consensus standards, has approved a new standard for first aid kits, the first update since 2015.

The new standard is known as ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2021, American National Standard for Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies, effective October 16, 2022.

The voluntary standard now suggests that kits include foil blankets, which are used to treat hypothermia or to block the wind, for example. The new standard also has specific recommendations for tourniquets, bleeding control kits, and assessing workplace hazards. The new standard is available from ANSI at webstore.ansi.org.

Are kits ever required in CMVs? Though the FMCSA does not require first aid kits in CMVs, OSHA does for certain vehicles, and state and/or local governments may as well.

Some states require first aid kits in school buses and refuse trucks, for example. They can be a good idea for any vehicle with multiple passengers or where drivers face potential workplace injuries far from medical care. Be sure your drivers are familiar with the kits, include them in daily inspections, and know how to use them.

At the federal level, OSHA requires that logging operations include a specific type of first aid kit on each “employee transport vehicle.” The rule is found in 29 CFR §1910.266, Logging Operations, with the kit contents outlined in Appendix A to that section. Note the following definitions under those rules:

  • Vehicle. A car, bus, truck, trailer, or semi-trailer owned, leased, or rented by the employer that is used for transportation of employees or movement of material.
  • Logging operations. Operations associated with felling and moving trees and logs from the stump to the point of delivery, such as, but not limited to, marking danger trees and trees/logs to be cut to length, felling, limbing, bucking, debarking, chipping, yarding, loading, unloading, storing, and transporting machines, equipment, and personnel to, from, and between logging sites.

If you’re engaged in logging operations, be sure your employee transport vehicles are equipped with the proper type of first aid kit.

Finally, OSHA requires “adequate first aid supplies” under 29 CFR §1910.151(b), and refers to the Z308.1 standard as a source of guidance for determining what to include in a first aid kit. It’s up to employers to decide how to stock their kits based on a needs assessment for each workplace.

“By assessing the specific needs of their workplace, employers can ensure that reasonably anticipated supplies are available,” OSHA says. “Employers should assess the specific needs of their worksite periodically and augment the first aid kit appropriately.”

Keep in mind that OSHA does not have jurisdiction over CMVs operating on public roadways.