ANR Environmental Health & Safety
University of California
ANR Environmental Health & Safety

Work Place Safety


An issue of liability has come up and we would like to know if we should continue to supply over the counter medications (i.e. Tylenol, aspirin, etc.) in our First Aid kits?


It was intentional that we left Tylenol or aspirin off the list of items that should be in a First Aid kit (Please see EH&S Safety Note #147)


Potential liability, should someone have an adverse reaction, is one reason.  Another reason is that providing medication (even over-the-counter) could be construed as “diagnosis and treatment,” which can only be performed by a licensed medical professional.  I know this sounds extreme, but it was the opinion of a physician advising Cal/OHSA on the subject of first aid kits.  So, it was our conclusion not to recommend aspirin or other pain relievers be part of a UC-provided first aid kit.  Antiseptics or antibiotic ointments are not considered “medication” and are therefore appropriate.


Employees may choose bring over-the-counter pain relievers for personal use, and may share with their co-workers, but this is not part of the employer-provided first aid kit.


Last Updated

October 18, 2010

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