First Aid Training Requirements for Fishermen

The question of what do I need in terms of First Aid training is a common one for BC commercial fishermen.  This blog post is meant to provide clarity around minimum requirements for First Aid training and to provide guidance in helping you determine the level of First Aid training you may require on your specific vessel beyond the minimum requirement.

Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirement for First Aid training is stipulated by Transport Canada as follows:  The person designated to provide first aid on board a fishing vessel engaged on a NC1, NC2 or sheltered waters voyage, (including single operators), must possess a 2-day First Aid course recognized by a province.  In BC that means the 2 day Red Cross Emergency First Aid course.

(Transport Canada accepts the 2 day Marine Basic First Aid (MBFA) course, but WorkSafeBC does not.  (WorkSafeBC had previously accepted the MBFA course but no longer does.)

The Transport Canada requirements for First Aid training including the above mentioned minimum requirements are found here:

Additional First Aid Requirements

Transport Canada stipulates its requirements for First Aid training beyond the minimum requirements in the above noted publication.

WorkSafeBC has assigned the commercial fishing sector with a hazard rating of ‘Moderate’ (with the exception of Dive fishing, which is ‘High’).  Based upon that hazard rating and other factors including number of persons on board, distance from a hospital and other factors, a vessel owner or skipper can determine the level of First Aid training required.

Here is a WorkSafeBC link to help you know how to determine the level of First Aid training you may actually need, beyond the minimum requirements, on board your vessel:

The corresponding Schedule 3-A Minimum Levels of First Aid table is also important – a direct link to the table is here:

Please note that WorkSafeBC requires all employers to conduct a thorough assessment of the risks and hazards specific to a vessel, the types of injuries likely to occur, etc. and based upon this assessment an employer may determine that a higher level of First Aid services is appropriate.

Fish Safe’s Role

Fish Safe does not provide First Aid training.  We do however, understand that questions exist about First Aid training and other certification requirements, especially as they relate to minimum requirements, hence the purpose of this information.

Additionally, Fish Safe helps fishermen assess the risks and hazards on board their vessel and how to manage these risks, including how to meet regulatory requirements, via our Safest Catch program – a free service to all BC commercial fishermen.  If you haven’t taken advantage of the program in the past we encourage you to contact us today and arrange for a vessel visit soon!