Do You Need an AED in Your Workplace?

In the case that a person suffers from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), an AED can definitely help to improve the survival rate of the patient. AEDs or defibrillators are essentially devices, used to deliver an electric shock directly to a patient’s heart to restart it and resume its normal functioning.

The key to the patient’s recovery and survival really depends on how quickly the patient receives defibrillation and CPR and these chances improve vastly if a person is administered defibrillation within 5 minutes of suffering from a SCA.

Today, cardiac arrests have become very common and can occur anytime and anywhere. Thousands of cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital every year, which leads us to the question, “Do you need a defibrillator at the workplace?”

Why Do You Need a Defibrillator?

The question of why a defibrillator is needed in the workplace may be triggered by the following aspects that today, several companies are investing in life-saving AEDs, or the onus of the care of the employees is on the company or sudden cardiac arrests in the workplace that may have resulted in casualties or various legislations such as Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, etc. that makes it the duty of the employers responsible for the health of their employees.

However, since it is not a legal requirement for a company to provide a defibrillator on the work premises, often these life-saving devices are overlooked.

Does the Law Require Having AEDs in the Workplace?

Unlike fire safety equipment and first aid kits, currently, there are no laws that require that a business must provide defibrillators at the workplace. However, the British Heart Foundation, Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the Resuscitation Council, UK recommend that workplaces have AEDs on the premises as they can help to save lives.

Although, it is not a legal requirement, investing in AEDs is a good idea, by which an organisation can invest proactively in the health and safety for its employees.

Importance of AEDs

Having AEDs in workplaces, schools, public places, etc. can help to drastically improve the survival rates of deaths due to SCA. If a person suffers from SCA, if defibrillation and CPR are delivered within 3-5 minutes, the chances of the patient’s survival increases by 6-7% and for every minute that goes by without treatment survival rates decrease by 10%.

The best thing is that you do not have to be medically trained to use an AED. It is very simple to operate and has visual and voice prompts that guide you step-by-step.

Factors to Consider Before Installing an AED at the Workplace

By considering a few factors, you can decide whether installing an AED at your workplace will be beneficial or not. Some factors to consider are, the average age of the workforce and any known heart conditions, footfall in the area, physical demands and exertions of the job, AED location and employee training to use the AED and CPR.

Having access to an on-site AED is definitely beneficial and a person who has suffered a SCA can get immediate medical treatment before the professional medical team arrives, which can increase their chances of survival. On basis of your evaluation of the various factors, you can decide whether to install a defibrillator at the workplace or not.