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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 22, 2016 10:41 AM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey
To: All House members
Subject: Require food service employees to obtain first aid training in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver
Colleagues, when the House returns for the upcoming legislative session, I will introduce free-standing legislation intended to require food service employees of retail food establishments to obtain first aid training in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. The term “retail food establishment” would be defined to mean “any public eating or drinking place which serves food or beverages, with charge, to the public for on-premises consumption and which is required to register with the Department of Agriculture in accordance with 3 Pa.C.S. §5734.”

Briefly, my legislation would require employees of food establishments where food is served for on-premises consumption to secure training and certification in emergency first aid. Such first aid training would include instruction in the Heimlich maneuver, pursuant to a training program approved by the Department of Health as described in the Red Cross Manual 32-1138 and CPR pursuant to a training program provided by the Red Cross or a similar organization, as approved by the Department of Health. The Department of Health would be required to consult with the Department of Agriculture to determine whether any or all employees of retail food facilities under 3 Pa.C.S. §5703 should be exempt from the first aid training and certification requirement.

As provided in the proposal, a proprietor of a food establishment could designate at least one food service employee who holds a valid first aid training certificate to be present at all hours during which food or beverages are sold or offered for sale. In such cases, training and certification could be waived for all other food service employees. The training and certification requirement could also be waived in cases of undue hardship, and when a local health authority would determine that a food service employee’s work assignment renders first aid training impracticable or unnecessary. As stipulated in the legislation, no food establishment, proprietor of a food establishment or food service employee would be civil or criminally liable for a good faith application of emergency first aid by a trained and certified food service employee.

Furthermore, the legislation would require proprietors of retail food establishments to post graphic displays of the Heimlich maneuver in conspicuous areas of the food establishment. The posting would depict, in both words and pictures, the signs to look for to determine if an individual is choking and the method for performing the anti-choking procedure. Other provisions of the legislation enumerate the powers and duties of the Department of Health and local health authorities.

I thank you in advance for joining me as a sponsor of this legislative proposal.

Introduced as HB872