Automated External Defibrillators: Essential for Workplace Safety

Years ago, when fire was a common workplace hazard, employers were required to provide fire extinguishers. Today, death from a workplace fire is rare. But sudden cardiac arrest remains a major threat, killing 365,000 people in North America each year.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics, 13 percent of all workplace fatalities today are attributed to sudden cardiac arrest. The good news is that it's often treatable, if defibrillation is provided quickly. Once sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the victim can often be revived using shock from an automated external defibrillator (AED) - but the chance of a successful AED rescue diminishes by approximately 10 percent with every minute that passes. That means that by the time an ambulance with an AED arrives, it is often too late.

The American Heart Association estimates that with greater availability of AEDs in places where people work and gather, some 40,000 lives a year could be saved each year in the U.S. alone. Having an AED on hand, instead of waiting for that ambulance to arrive can literally make the difference between life and death.

Visit the Safety Resources section of www.asa.net to read these other standards and for information on AEDs, increasing AED awareness at your business and establishing a “Chain of Survival” to address sudden cardiac arrest in the workplace. Also found there is a Toolbox Talk for use in educating your employees on this important safety topic.

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