Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I am unable to find an answer to my question in your FAQ, where can I go to have my question answered?
A: If it is regarding workplace first aid, the best thing to do is to contact WorkSafeBC. Their phone number is 604-276-3100 or 1-888-621-7233. You may also access their web site at www.worksafebc.com. The Canadian Red Cross has a similar Help Line called the First Aid and Water Safety Call Centre. That phone number is 1-888-307-7997. Their web site is www.redcross.ca.
Q: What is a First Aid Attendant?
A: A First Aid Attendant is someone who has been chosen by his or her employer to provide first aid to other employees and who holds a first aid certificate valid for that workplace.
Q: How long are your WorkSafeBC courses?
A: OFA Level 1 is 7 hours; OFA Level 2 is 35 hours; OFA Level 3 is 70 hours; OFA 3 PRO is 35 hours.
Q: What is the difference between a Level 2 and a Level 3 WorkSafeBC course?
A: Generally a Level 2 is adequate in the Lower Mainland because most sites are within 20 minutes travelling time to a hospital; a Level 3 is required for remote areas where B.C. Ambulance cannot respond quickly to the accident site. Some companies have made it their policy to have their First Aid Attendants certified in Level 3. Call us for a more detailed explanation.
Q: What is an Industrial First Aid ticket?
A: In 1994, Workers’ Compensation Board changed the name to Occupational First Aid. At that time, Survival became Level 1; Industrial First Aid became Occupational First Aid Level 3 and they introduced an intermediate course, calling it Occupational First Aid Level 2.
Q: How old must I be in order to take one of your courses?
A: For some Red Cross courses, 11 years of age is recommended. For WorkSafeBC at least 16 years old to qualify for a Level 1, 2, or 3 certificate and in a workplace that requires a Level 2 or 3 attendant, the person must be at least 19 years old. If the attendant is under 19 years and holds a Level 2 or 3 ticket, he or she may provide treatment under the direct supervision of the unrestricted first aid attendant on site.
Q: The dates that I have available don’t match up with your course dates. Now what?
A: If you can form a group, we can do a private course pretty much whenever and wherever you wish.
Q: My employer says I need to take a first aid course but not which one. Can you help?
A: That question requires that we ask questions of you so you would be best to call us. Our questions would guide you in the right direction.
Q: How long is my WorkSafeBC certificate good for?
A: Effective January 1st, 2010, your OFA 1, 2, 3 Certificate or Transportation Endorsement needs to be renewed every 3 years.
Q: I’ve taken the OFA 3 course; can I take a recertification course when it is time to renew?
A: We call this our OFA Pro course and it is one week intensive. It is recommended only for those who practice their skills daily. E.g., VERY experienced full-time first aid attendants. Due to recent protocol changes though one cannot do the pro course until at least the year 2021, possibly later.
Q: I am a new employer with varying numbers of employees. Do I need to take a first aid course?
A: Not necessarily for yourself; however, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires many companies (excluding those federally regulated) to designate and provide training for an employee as a first aid attendant. The number of first aid attendants and the level of first aid required is dependent on a number of points and you are best to call us or WorkSafeBC for the answer to that question.
Q: I would like to take an OFA 3 course. Do I need to pass OFA 1 and 2 first?
A: There is no such requirement at this time. The OFA level is determined by your desire or the needs of your employer.