It’s likely that you maintain smoke detectors, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers in your business to prepare for emergencies. These are all important tools to keep your employees and customers safe. However, are you prepared for someone to go into sudden cardiac arrest in the workplace? Despite being one of the lead causes of death in the United States, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is not currently standardized by OSHA.
According to the Red Cross, more than 350,000 people each year are killed by SCA. It’s a disaster that can occur to any person, of any age at anytime. Generally, each minute that defibrillation isn’t performed after cardiac arrest can reduce the chance of survival by 7-10%. On average, it can take first responders 8-12 minutes to arrive on scene after a 911 call.
What can you do?
As you probably are already aware, CPR paired with an automated external defibrillator (AED) is best way to restore a heartbeat. Chances of survival are 90% when CPR and AED are administered within two minutes of the event. Additionally, most people with no medical experience can operate an AED. It’s an excellent idea for any business or public place to keep an AED in a communal area for emergencies. It’s important that the AED is easy to see and access.
In addition to having an AED in the building, it’s a great idea to equip your employees with the proper training. For example, we offer a standard course covering first aid, CPR and AED training for employees. This training not only teaches your staff how to react to emergencies, but it also familiarizes them with the AED equipment and where the items are stored. For more information on how to maximize the benefit of your AED device, see this article from EHS Today.