The American Heart Association’s new campaign is intended to turn all of those “no” answers into “yes” answers. They announced that they plan to train workers to respond appropriately to emergencies, and they plan to make AEDs publicly accessible.
The AHA claims that two surveys conducted in partnership with Edelman Intelligence and EHS Daily Advisor show American workers would not be adequately prepared to handle an emergency situation if they found themselves in the midst of one as they do not have the proper CPR, AED or first aid training. There were over 6,000 workers surveyed and half could not locate the AED at work. More than half do not have access to first aid or CPR/AED training at work. If their employers did offer such training, respondents said that it was typically just one class or the other. They found that 90 percent of respondents were open to taking First Aid and CPR/AED training if their employers made it available.
There were 1,000 respondents who worked in OSHA regulated industries as safety managers. They told researchers they thought that a greater emphasis should be put on this kind of training at work. About a third of them said that training only became a priority after there was an incident at their workplace that made it clear they were not prepared. A third of them also reported that lives had been saved either at home or at their workplace as a result of the First Aid, CPR and AED training that was provided to them at work, and 75 percent reported that injuries or other medical conditions were treated in their workplace, which offered training.
According to the American Heart Association there are around 10,000 cardiac arrests that occur at work every year. Part of this campaign will be a push to make AEDs available in public places like gyms, hotels or churches, and to make them as accessible as fire extinguishers by placing them in the same locations.
Some cardiac emergencies may be work related, some may not, but it is still important that workers are prepared to act fast to potentially save the life of a co-worker.
Read the press release here.