How to Use an AED in the Workplace 

 June 22, 2021

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If an employee, a customer, or a visitor suffers cardiac arrest at your workplace, immediate medical care can save the person’s life, minimize damage, and reduce the risk of long-term disability. Both cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated external defibrillator (AED) can be helpful.

How to Respond to a Cardiac Event

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, the faster that person receives help, the greater the chance of survival. The chest compressions in CPR can help blood flow through the heart and carry oxygen to vital organs.

An AED is a life-saving tool that can be used in conjunction with CPR. It delivers an electrical shock that can restart a victim’s heart and help blood begin pumping throughout the body again.

While CPR can be effective, hundreds of chest compressions may be required to save a victim’s life. Performing CPR can be exhausting, even if people take turns. An AED is easy to operate and requires minimal training. If someone experiences cardiac arrest in your workplace, one person can perform CPR until another person retrieves an AED.

Prepare Your Team to Handle an Emergency

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t require all businesses to have an AED on-site. It’s a good idea to have at least one, though, especially if your company has a large number of employees, workers are exposed to hazardous conditions, or your business is in a remote location or is not near a hospital.

Your company should develop a written plan that details who is trained and qualified to operate an AED and who is responsible for maintaining the device. It may not be necessary to teach every single worker in how to use an AED, but you should make sure that there will be trained individuals in all parts of your building on all shifts. Employees should regularly undergo refresher training so they will remember key steps if they need to use an AED in an emergency.

Designate one or more people to be in charge of maintaining AEDs, replacing batteries, inspecting the devices, and requesting repairs when necessary. Assigning those duties to specific individuals, creating a maintenance schedule, and keeping detailed records can help you ensure that a working AED will be available if it’s needed.

Purchase One or More AEDs for Your Workplace

An AED can save a life, which is why it’s best practice for all businesses to have one, even if OSHA doesn’t require it. 1st Aid Supplies sells AEDs, as well as other essential supplies, such as CPR micro shields and portable oxygen soft packs. Order an AED today so you and your employees will be prepared to save a life in an emergency.

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