A recent study found most American workers are completely unprepared for cardiac emergencies while at work. According to the American Heart Association, which is the leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, there are about 10,000 cardiac arrests annually in the nation’s workplaces. However, in the study, the AHA found the majority of U.S. workers do not even have access to CPR and first aid training. Half could not even locate the AED (automated external defibrillator) at work. The association is now launching a new campaign to train all U.S. workers to respond quickly and appropriately to cardiac emergencies. This campaign also includes public access to AEDs.
In this study, the AHA surveyed more than 3,000 workers in various fields between February and April 2017, and 2,000 employees in corporate offices, hospitality, education, and industry/labor and more than 1,000 safety managers in industries regulated by OSHA also were surveyed.
Here are some of the key findings from the study:
- 55 percent of the respondents cannot get first aid or CPR and AED training from their employer – and even if employers do offer this training, it is often either one or the other.
- 50 percent of all U.S. workers can’t locate the AED where they work; in the hospitality industry, this is true for 66 percent.
- 33 percent of safety managers said lives have been saved at home and at the workplace as a result of first aid, CPR, and AED training provided at work.
- 75 percent said injuries or medical conditions have been treated in the workplace as a result of this training.
- 36 percent felt it would be valuable to offer training more frequently than every two years (the current requirement).
- Younger generations at OSHA-regulated industries were less likely to participate in first aid, CPR, and AED training, although the numbers are still high at more than 44.5 percent.
Safety managers in the OSHA-regulated industries agreed more frequent training is needed, despite one-third of them said first aid, CPR, and AED training became important and offered only after an incident occurred.
Researchers say this study just proves the fact that first aid, CPR, and AED training needs to become a part of the larger culture of workplace safety.