Q. Are we required to provide a couch or cot on the premises in the event that an employee becomes ill? Are there any laws that dictate safety or health reasons for doing this?
A. No, employers are not required to provide a “sick couch.” OSHA generally requires that:
- There is ready access to medical professionals. (That is, you’re either near a hospital or clinic or have someone on site trained in first-aid procedures.)
- The facility has “adequate” first aid supplies readily available.
It may also be necessary to have eyewash stations, showers or both if there is the potential for chemical exposure.
In addition, the nonmandatory appendix to the OSHA standards states that “employers who have unique or changing first-aid needs in their workplace may need to enhance their first-aid kits. Employers should assess the specific needs of their workplace periodically and augment the first-aid kit periodically.”