AEDs in the Workplace


Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are devices that can be used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by delivering an electric shock to the heart. SCA is a leading cause of death in the United States, and AEDs are an important tool for increasing the chances of survival for individuals who experience it.

In the workplace, AEDs can play a critical role in saving the lives of employees and visitors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that employers consider implementing an AED program as part of their workplace safety plan. This includes having AEDs readily available and ensuring that employees are trained on how to use them.

Having AEDs in the workplace is especially important for businesses that have employees working in physically demanding or high-stress environments, as these factors can increase the risk of SCA. Additionally, workplaces with large numbers of employees or visitors, such as office buildings and malls, are also good candidates for AED programs.

To implement an AED program in the workplace, employers should first conduct a risk assessment to determine where AEDs should be placed and who should be trained on how to use them. Employers should also ensure that their AEDs are properly maintained and that the batteries and pads are replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Employees should be trained on how to recognize the signs of SCA, how to properly use an AED, and how to perform CPR. This training can be provided through a variety of methods, including online courses, in-person training, and hands-on practice sessions. Employers should also consider providing annual refresher training to ensure that employees are up-to-date on the latest guidelines and best practices.

In addition to providing training, employers should also establish clear procedures for responding to a SCA emergency, including who should be contacted and how to use an AED. Employers should also consider having a written emergency response plan in place and conducting regular drills to ensure that employees are prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a SCA emergency.

In conclusion, AEDs are an important tool for saving lives in the workplace. By implementing an AED program, providing training, and establishing clear procedures, employers can take an active role in protecting the health and safety of their employees and visitors. With the right training and preparation, AEDs can be used effectively to save lives and improve outcomes for individuals who experience SCA.

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