Does My Workplace Need a Defibrillator (AED)?

Research shows that the chance of surviving a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) decreases by 7-10% every minute that treatment does not occur. By having an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in your workplace, should someone have a SCA, you can greatly increase their chances of survival.

Currently there is no legal requirement to have defibrillators at your workplace, but in the interest of keeping your employees safe, you may want to choose to install one.

Do Workplaces Have Defibrillators?

Currently, most workplaces with over 25 employees, where first aid provision becomes more regulated, will often choose to provide at least one defibrillator on-site.

Workplaces that have more hazards, such as warehouses or engineers on-site, will need to consider an AED if they employ over five employees, where first aid becomes more regulated.

Similarly, workplaces who have older employees, or those with pre-existing conditions that could increase the risks of a SCA, will often have an AED on-site.

Are Defibrillators Required by Law in the Workplace?

Currently there is no law that stipulates that a workplace must have an AED. Instead, it is down to the discretion of the employer as to whether they think an AED would be beneficial or suitable for their workplace.

Some employers also choose to install a PAD (Public Access Defibrillator) on the exterior of the building to benefit their local community as well as their workplace.

Should My Workplace Have a Defibrillator?

Your workplace may need an AED if you have a member of staff who has a history of cardiac arrest or is at higher risk of SCA. During your first aid risk assessment, if you identify a need for an AED, then you will need to provide one.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 states that,

 “An employer shall provide, or ensure that there are provided, such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first-aid to be rendered to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work

This could be taken to mean that an AED is needed if it is “adequate and appropriate in the circumstances.” These circumstances are individual and pertains to the workplace in question as specified by the First Aid Regulations.

Where Are Defibrillators Located in Workplaces?

Your building layout and the number of companies using your building will affect the location of your AED. For those who have full occupancy of a building, you may choose to install a central AED, but for those who have multiple companies in one building, you may choose to have a defibrillator for each floor.

Defibrillator location should be easily accessible, not at a place that could cause injury or harm when retrieving the device in an emergency, and as centrally located as possible. For example, a reception area would be an optimal location to install an AED. Aero Healthcare recommends ensuring that an AED is no more than 90 seconds away from any employee.

Defibrillator Funding for Workplaces

Unless in exceptional circumstances, workplaces are excluded from charity grants and subsidised AEDs, as they are expected to be able to self-fund the cost of a defibrillator.

Are Staff Members Required to be Trained on Defibrillator Usage?

Both First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work training programs already include defibrillator training. You may find it useful to provide your staff with additional CPR training and emergency lifesaving training to ensure their confidence in both using a defibrillator, and in providing lifesaving support through CPR.

Speak to Aero Healthcare for Your Defibrillator Needs

Aero Healthcare are the UK Master Distributor for HeartSine Technologies Samaritan Defibrillators, the only defibrillators manufactured in the United Kingdom.

Speak to us today, and we can advise on the best AED for your workplace.