The State of California has some of the nation’s strictest requirements for AEDs (automated external defibrillators.) The AED is designed to restore a person’s heart functions in a cardiac arrest emergency. These devices are required by law in gyms, schools, and various other public places. Under the Education Code 35179.6, it is stated at least one AED must be placed in every California school that has an interscholastic athletic program. Let’s review the best practices for AEDs in the workplace.
Any business person or manager of a public facility should familiarize themselves with California laws regarding the AED.
AED in the Workplace
AEDs are a device used to save the life of someone suffering a heart event while in the workplace. Most times a person suffers a heart attack when outside of a hospital. Five percent or less of these victims are successfully resuscitated and discharged from the hospital ready to go on with life.
Organizations that have volunteers trained in CPR and who know how to use the AEDs have nearly twice as many survivors. Organizations with only CPR training and that do not use the AED device don’t have this success rate. (Source: NCBI)
Who Does the AED Help?
The AED is a medical device that can analyze the heart rhythm and deliver an appropriate electric shock to a victim to restore their heart’s rhythm to a normal beat. Ventricular fibrillation is an uncoordinated heartbeat most often associated with sudden cardiac arrest. These types of cardiac arrest happen when ventricular fibrillation happens or the heart stops.
If a person suffering from this type of cardiac arrest does not receive medical attention, they will collapse, lose consciousness, become unresponsive, and die. This arrest can happen to victims who have no prior history of heart disease, and it often happens suddenly. Causes of cardiac arrest include:
- Heart attack
- Asphyxiation- This is when a worker loses consciousness caused by insufficient oxygen in a work environment, such as being in a confined space
Why the Workplace Should Have an AED
Workers can suffer a heart event while performing their daily jobs. With an AED onsite, these devices save precious treatment time and increase the victim’s odds of survival. Because there is a time-lapse between the worker collapsing and the arrival of EMTs, the AED can be put to use right away and save a life.
A heart rhythm suffering ventricular fibrillation can only be restored to normal by an electric shock. The AED is lightweight, compact, portable, battery-operated, and safe, so trained personnel can quickly retrieve the device and provide the downed employee with a life-saving shock.
Where to Place an AED in the Workplace
AEDs should be placed where they are conveniently reached. Response time should be no more than three to five minutes, so you will want it to be an accessible area to all employees. If your facility is too large for this time limit, consider installing more than one unit.
The areas where AEDs are best placed include anywhere people work closely together, such as assembly lines or where there are multiple offices in one section. Another good area is near a confined space or where electric-powered devices are being used.
Where to Find an AED
Zee Medical supplies first aid training and safety solutions for businesses. We are committed to helping you keep your employees healthy. With more than fifty years in the safety and health industry, we are able to provide safety solutions for your company to create a productive and healthier workplace.
If you are looking for an AED for your workplace, we offer the Zoll AED Plus. This device sets the benchmark for durability, dependability, performance, and design. Don’t wait until it’s too late to save a life, talk to one of our experienced specialists about having the Zoll installed in your workplace today.