Is OSHA CPR Certification the same as a CPR Certification?

Is OSHA CPR Certification the same as a CPR Certification

If you’re looking for the answer to the question, “Is OSHA CPR Certification the same as a CPR certification?” then you’ve come to the right place. OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was founded in 1970 with the Occupational Safety and Health Act by the Congress of the United States.

Since then, the organization has remained truthful to its sole cause – ensuring a healthy, safe, and beneficial working environment for workers by setting mandatory standards and requirements. Moreover, OSHA has an outreach and education program, providing training and assistance in different fields of work.

The organization also sets fist-aid, basic life support, AED, and CPR standards for companies operating throughout the states.

However, many ask themselves, Is OSHA CPR certification the same as a CPR certification?  Let’s analyze OSHA’s broad spectrum of activities and requirements, and see where the CPR certification fits in the organization’s standards!

OSHA Certificates: Mandatory or Not and Is It The Same As A CPR Certification

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for setting standards to ensure workers’ safety. Surprisingly, some of OSHA’s standards are mandatory, while others aren’t. It usually depends on the type of company or industry sector. For example, some companies are exempt from OSHA’s parameters like:

  • Self-employed individuals
  • Companies operating under other federal regulations
  • Farms that employ only family members
  • Churches
  • Federal or state agencies and organizations, etc.

However, many other companies and business sectors are subject to OSHA’s standards and requirements. According to the US Department of Labor, four industries are directly subject to OSHA’s requirements: 

  • Logging
  • Maritime
  • Construction
  • General Industry

The last category – General Industry – is often excluded from the list. Nonetheless, the organization recommends that employers and managers stick to its standards to prevent hazardous activities and ensure workplace safety.

According to the 1970 OSHA ACT, every employer should comply with safety and health standards under this act. Furthermore, OSHA sets mandatory CPR certification requirements for different sectors. 

For instance, some workers in the logging industry must have a CPR certificate outlined in OSHA’s Appendix B. On the other hand, employees in permit-required confined spaces or the electrical industry must have a CPR certificate under different standards.

That’s how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration makes the CPR certificate mandatory or recommended throughout different industries. Companies operating in specific sectors must acquire a particular CPR certification to ensure regulatory compliance and avoid all health-related risks at the workplace. 

OSHA Certification: CPR & First Aid Requirements

Regarding your question, Is OSHA CPR certification the same as a CPR certification – we must answer it with “No!”. OSHA certification is a much broader concept than CPR certification. However, CPR certificates are incorporated into the OSHA standards and requirements. 

According to OSHA’s Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program, CPR skills are crucial for asphyxiation, electrocution, and exertion happening at the workplace. Additionally, OSHA requires certain employers to have CPR-certified employees on site in cases of various emergencies. 

The organization also stresses the importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AED), the AED certificates, and their significance in managing hazardous situations. For this purpose, OSHA partners with the most credible and proven organizations, such as the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.

OSHA has its First-Aid Program that acknowledges as credible the first-aid and CPR certificates of organizations like AHA, American Red Cross, NSC (National Safety Council), and other private institutions. 

Companies and employers can apply to certify their employees and workers in some of the following fields:

  • BLS (Basic Life Support)
  • CPR (adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
  • Basic precautions for self-protection, etc.

The CPR certificates are only a subcategory of the OSHA Certificate that includes other industry or injury-specific pieces of training. However, the CPR certificate is compulsory for logging, maritime, electricity, and construction. 

OSHA Certification: Companies Which Must Have A CPR Certificate

OSHA mandates a CPR certification for logging, maritime, electricity, construction companies, confined places in construction, etc. The reason for this is the work-related risks that can easily occur and be fatal to the workers’ health. 

The concepts of OSHA and CPR Certificates intertwine on many occasions. However, CPR certificates are usually mandatory when there’s a risk of hazards like caught-in-or-between, electrocution, falls, exposure to poisonous substances and smoke, etc.


According to the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, logging companies have to ensure that each employee, including supervisors, receives first-aid and CPR training. Furthermore, employers must ensure that employees receive CPR training annually and acquire a CPR certificate.

Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution

OSHA specifies that companies in this sector must have a CPR-certified employee available at all times. According to the Training Requirements in Osha Standards, these companies have to train all employees in first aid and CPR within three months after their hiring dates. Nonetheless, if the company performs field work, there must be at least two CPR-certified employees.

Confined Places in Construction

Companies working in construction usually expose their employees to confined and dangerous places. That’s why OSHA specifies CPR certification standards for working in confined places in the construction industry. To be more precise, OSHA requires CPR certificates of all workers affected or at least one rescue team member.

OSHA & The American Heart Association

OSHA partners with AHA to ensure a safe and healthful working environment. The purpose of this alliance is to raise awareness among companies and employers for reducing work-related risks and hazardous situations. 

OSHA recommends employers acquire AHA CPR certificates to meet its standards and requirements. Companies can register, apply, and obtain AHA CPR Certificates for particular employees or the whole company. Moreover, companies can acquire a CPR certificate from any organization providing AHA courses.

These certificates will be recognized by OSHA and renewed in compliance with its standards (most often two years after the certificate is issued).

Companies and employers can get the following AHA CPR Certificates:

  • First Aid / CPR / AED
  • CPR / AED
  • Basic First Aid
  • ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support)
  • Pediatric Courses, etc.

Depending on the nature of the work, they can choose the course and get a CPR certificate accordingly. OSHA also recommends that all clinicians be familiar with CPR and first aid procedures. That’s why many health organizations are acquiring the AHA CPR and First Aid Certificates.

OSHA & The American Red Cross

Similarly, OSHA is in an alliance with the American Red Cross. These two organizations have joined their efforts to ensure a healthier working environment for all workers. This alliance aims to promote workplace safety and train and educate on CPR, AED, and First Aid. 

OSHA regularly shares information and has detailed discussions with the American Red Cross towards raising awareness for CPR and first aid as well as ensuring that the companies are regulatory compliant.

OSHA recognizes all the Red Cross CPR Certificates and the CPR certificates issued by organizations that offer the Red Cross CPR courses. Some of the main fields in which companies can certify their employees are Workplace Safety (First Aid / CPR / AED), Healthcare Professionals, and more.

However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes numerous other institutions, organizations, and issuing bodies that can provide you with a CPR certification. For instance, OSHA recognizes not only AHA and Red Cross courses but also courses by organizations certified by the National Safety Council and other relevant institutions. 

OSHA also recognizes the work of each instructor certified by some of these organizations. 

Understanding If OSHA CPR Certification is the same as CPR Certification

As we’ve seen, the OSHA Certification is a broader concept than the cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificate. The OSHA certificates are industry-specific and can be mandatory or optional, depending on the nature of the work and industry.

However, when the CPR certificate is mandatory, companies must comply with OSHA standards and acquire it from credible institutions like AHA, Red Cross, or NSC. Additionally, they can obtain their cardiopulmonary certificates from organizations providing AHA, Red Cross, or NSC courses. Now you should have a better understanding of an OSHA CPR certification is the same as a CPR certification.