Review Your Workplace AED Program for American Heart Month


The American Heart Association reports that cardiovascular disease, including stroke, is the #1 cause of death in the United States. And 10,000 cardiac arrests occur annually in the workplace. Giving CPR and having a workplace AED program (Automated External Defibrillator) can greatly increase a victim’s chance of survival.

February is American Heart Month – the perfect time to review or implement a workplace AED and CPR training program at your company. Here are a few good reasons why:

  • 90% of cardiac arrest victims who receive an AED shock in the first minute of an attack live
  • One-third of safety managers report lives have been saved with CPR training
  • 65% of employees would view their employers more positively if they offered CPR training

Causes of sudden workplace cardiac arrest

  • Heart attack
  • Electrocution
  • Asphyxiation (loss of consciousness and death caused by inadequate oxygen in the work environment, such as in a confined space)
  • Many victims have no prior history of heart disease and are stricken without warning

Why AEDs belong in every workplace

What is an AED?

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a medical device designed to analyze the heart rhythm and deliver an electric shock to victims of ventricular fibrillation to restore the heart rhythm to normal. Ventricular fibrillation is the uncoordinated heart rhythm most often responsible for sudden cardiac arrest.

4 good reasons to have a workplace AED program

  • Workers may suffer sudden cardiac arrest while on the job.
  • Onsite AEDs save precious treatment time, and can improve survival odds because they can be used before emergency medical service (EMS) personnel arrive.
  • A heart rhythm in ventricular fibrillation may only be restored to normal by an electric shock.
  • The AED is compact, lightweight, portable, battery operated, safe, and easy to use.

Placement of AEDs

AEDs should be conveniently installed to ensure response within 3-5 minutes:

  • Areas where many people work closely together, such as assembly lines and office buildings
  • Close to a confined space
  • Areas where electric-powered devices are used
  • Outdoor worksites where lightning may occur
  • Health units where workers may seek treatment for heart attack symptoms
  • Company fitness units and cafeterias
  • Remote sites, such as off-shore drilling rigs, construction projects, marine vessels, power transmission lines, and energy pipe lines

AED training

Your workers can easily be trained to:

  • Recognize sudden cardiac arrest and notify EMS personnel
  • Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Provide early defibrillation with an AED
  • Care for the victim until EMS personnel arrive

Workplace AED Program Resources:

A variety of resources are available to help you plan and implement CPR and AED training programs in your workplace: