How to choose a first-aid training provider

John Sherman

For a long time, first-aid training wasn’t even an option. Then, as the need for programs increased, various organizations began developing them but only for people working in the medical field. Today, virtually anyone can learn how to save lives. Even better, individuals can complete courses and receive a first-aid certification through online courses.


Staying compliant

One of the best things you can do for your organization is to offer first-training to every employee. When you consider that courses are easily accessible and cost little to nothing, it makes no sense for you not to provide your staff with an incredible gift.

Keep in mind that for some industries, first-aid training is not merely an honor but also mandated. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA, the requirements for this type of training depend on standards, regulations, and statute. For specific industries, companies must provide both first-aid and CPR training to their employees. Otherwise, these organizations become non-compliant. These include: 

  • Permit-Required Confined Spaces (1910.146)
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution (1910.269)
  • Appendix B: Logging and Operations (1910.266)
  • Construction Subpart V, Power Transmission, and Distribution (1926.950)
  • Qualifications of a Dive Team (1910.410)

According to OSHA’s laws and regulations, “The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health.” This means a company must have fully trained personnel on-site to provide medical assistance when needed to remain compliant.

Also, under OSHA’s laws and regulations as outlined in 29 CFR 1910.151(b), “In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace, which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid and supplies shall be readily available.”

However, even if you have a business whereby OSHA does not require first-aid training, this is something that everyone would benefit from, making it an excellent choice. Unfortunately, you never know when an accident will occur, or someone will become ill. Whether from a fall, heart attack, chemical exposure, or something entirely different, investing in online first-aid training is one of the best things you can do for your company and your workers. 

What does first-aid training cover?

Although not always, it has become quite common for first-aid training to include CPR. When researching different providers with outstanding programs, you should seriously consider selecting one that has coverage in both areas. In fact, a lot of the programs also include information and guidance of using an AED in the event someone suffers a heart attack.

The best training providers have a comprehensive program, which typically covers the following:

Cardiac arrest

Of all medical procedures used, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is the most critical. This is why selecting a first-aid program that includes this is vital to your organization. After all, if a person suffers a heart attack during which time the heart no longer pumps blood, without CPR, that individual will die.

However, with CPR performed, or in some instances with the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), an individual has an excellent chance of not just living, but after receiving proper medical treatment, living a long and healthy life.

Over the years, CPR has gone through several significant changes. For that reason, even if your staff took CPR training before, they should complete a new course based on current standards. As for an AED, if you don’t have one at your company, now is the time to purchase a device and provide your employees with training on its proper use.


For any wound, whether big or small, controlling the bleeding is an essential part of first-aid. In particular, more significant lacerations that lead to a lot of bleeding can cause a person to go into shock and even die. Especially if your company requires workers to handle sharp objects, this part of training is crucial.


The first thing a training course on treating burns teaches is to stop the burn as quickly as possible. Some examples include wiping off the skin of someone suffering a chemical burn, running cold water over a burn caused by heat, and turning off the source of electricity for an electrical burn. Through online courses, your employees will know the best way to respond based on the specific type of burn.

Fractures and sprains

A qualified first-aid training provider teaches people what they should and should not do if someone breaks a bone. As an example, rather than straighten the limb, a fracture requires stabilization by creating a padded splint. Also, instead of placing a cold pack directly on the break to help with swelling, the limb needs to be elevated. 

While sprains are not as serious an injury as a fracture, they still cause significant pain and can leave a person immobilized. Because distinguishing one from the other is often a challenge, sprains receive virtually the same treatment as breaks.


Sadly, the latest polar vortex to sweep the country took the lives of several people. With online courses for first-aid training, your employees will learn how to recognize this problem and treat it. Without quick and appropriate action, frostbite can do severe damage to the skin’s tissue, causing it to die.

Additional topics

Along with the bigger problems, first-aid training covers an assortment of less risky incidents such as blisters, jellyfish stings, nosebleeds, bee stings, and more. Of course, depending on the injured party and the degree of the injury, even something minor can quickly become a major issue.

What to look for in a training provider

Regardless of your specific industry, it never hurts to know how to treat both common and uncommon injuries. 

Although you could set up a training program with a reputable organization like Blue Cross or the American Heart Institute, that would require you to pull several people away from their responsibilities to attend class. Even if people go to a designated location, you might receive some pushback because it takes time away from work and home.

That is not to say that your staff doesn’t want to learn everything that first-aid training provides, just that it can be difficult due to their schedules and responsibilities. For that reason alone, providing your entire organization with online training makes far more sense. 

Have your HR Director, Compliance Manager, and L&D Manager review various courses, followed by selecting those that best serve your specific company. From there, you can have your employees complete the online courses during normal business hours or in the comfort of home.

Remember, the best providers have courses that usually take less than an hour to complete. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about disruption at work. As for your employees interested in completing the training at home, you might consider offering some type of small incentive or pay them for the time it takes to complete each course.

Without question, your best option for training is through a respected and trusted Learning Management System (LMS). That way, everyone has access to the best courses available, developed and often presented by qualified experts in the field of first-aid, CPR, and AED utilization.

Have your leadership team explore the possibilities with an excellent LMS and make sure they look for specific things to confirm that LMS has the first-aid training courses that you need and want for your organization.

Custom content

While all first-aid training courses share similarities, preferably look for one with customized solutions. What that means is that beyond the more generic topics on the subject, you have the opportunity to use custom content that really drives the lesson home. Ultimately, this ensures your employees receive the precise training needed to comply with OSHA or your company policies.


When it comes to online first-aid training courses, the last thing you want is something so difficult that your staff absorbs none of the information covered. Therefore, select an LMS that is easy to access and use from virtually anywhere, even mobile devices.

Something else to consider is that because this type of training allows your workers to complete courses at their leisure, they can work through each topic quickly but without missing anything. If you offer your staff a platform that is hard to follow, it will take them significantly longer to finish the training. At the same time, they will begin to feel frustrated and disinterested.


Even for first-aid training, receiving detailed reports is essential. In fact, reporting is a key element of any LMS worth using. Focus on a platform that offers built-in training so that you can keep track of what each employee accomplishes. This is especially important if you choose an LMS without integration possibilities. 

If your company needs to remain compliant on multiple things, you could use the same LMS for first-aid training and other mandates by OSHA. That will help your HR Director know what each person has completed and will make it easier for your Compliance Manager to stay current on all compliance issues. 

System integration

Although not a “make it or break it” requirement, it would be ideal to use an LMS that you can integrate with your company’s internal systems. For example, this would make it easy to store information as to what courses each employee took and when. With that, your HR Director could formulate a plan to keep everyone current on training.


As with system integration, while not vital to your first-aid training, it’s highly beneficial. With a built-in assessment tool, your employees can perform an assessment whenever they complete a course. Considering they work at their own pace, this helps tremendously. Also, this eliminates the need to coordinate group assessment sessions, which would take time away from production.

Best of all, online assessments get pulled into the reporting feature automatically, again streamlining the overall training process.

Effect on the workplace

Whether your company needs to meet strict compliance laws and regulations or you simply want to create a safer and healthier work environment, you don’t want to pass up the opportunity to provide your staff with online first-aid training. 

Especially if your business falls in a high-risk category for injuries, this type of training becomes critical. Another factor is the location of your company. If you have a rural address, it’s going to take first responders longer to reach an injured person to perform possible life-saving measures.

 Regardless of your situation, there’s no time to waste in implementing a program into your operations. Along with initial training, it’s just as important that you provide this opportunity ongoing. Again, you would need to do this to remain compliant but even without that, you want your teams to have access to the most advanced and current processes available throughout the year.

Along with online first-aid training, be sure you place several well-stocked first-aid kits around the building. Everyone who completes courses should know the location of the kits, as well as how to properly use each item included.

If you have a larger company, consider appointing several people to respond to medical emergencies to serve as the lead. Those individuals need to complete as many courses as possible, even earning a first-aid certification.

While there’s no minimum requirement set by OSHA, this government entity does reference ANSI Z308, I-2003, which states what you should have as far as the number of kits and their contents. 

Specialty training

Along with the more basic topics covered with first-aid training are some specialty courses that your designated medical response team needs to take. For instance, there are courses that teach people what they should and shouldn’t do when exposed to, or they come into contact with, potentially infectious materials, including blood, diarrhea, vomit, urine, and stools. For this, create an exposure control plan based on the courses available through a trusted LMS.

 Typically, organizations designate an infectious disease officer when an exposure risk exists. Through the proper training, that individual can quickly adapt to every scenario yet take the appropriate measures to protect one’s self, along with other company employees.

As part of that person’s responsibility, he or she would become educated on topics such as the following:

  • Using barrier devices, including eye protection, gloves, and masks
  • Washing hands after any contact with potentially infectious body fluids
  • Preventing injuries caused by needles and other sharp objects, as well as disposing of any object that would put another person at risk
  • Gathering and disposing of any contaminated items such as clothes and towels

A full-scope LMS

For superior online first-aid training courses, Go1 is your best source. As a leader among LMSs, we offer an abundance of topics to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace, as well as for those treating the injured or sick individuals.

For more insights, subscribe to the Go1 newsletter to stay on top of all the latest L&D trends. Or, you can book a demo today to find out how Go1 can help with your team’s learning needs.

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