Under the Health and Safety Act (1974) employers are responsible for providing employees with a duty of care and a working environment that is safe; this includes monitoring fire safety, the use of machinery, and the use of chemicals. Yet, every year there are a considerable number of workplace incidents, many of which could be prevented if certain precautions were taken.

UK accidents in the workplace

According to the UK Health and Safety Executive, in 2014 1.2 million people suffered from a workplace illness, 629,000 were injured in the workplace and 142 people died at work.

Amongst the varying workplace incidents, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the most common causes of premature death and can affect anyone, of any age at any time. In 2013 NHS Emergency Medical services attempted to resuscitate 28,000 victims, with survival rates across the country ranging from 12% to as low as 2%. The British Heart Foundation suggests that a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7-10% for every minute that they are not resuscitated.

In the broadest terms, during a SCA the victim’s constant pulse is suddenly replaced with a stunted and chaotic heartbeat. This starves the body’s vital organs of oxygen which can cause lasting damage that in some cases is never recovered from.

Fortunately, there is a way that casualties of SCA can be prevented and if aid is administered in the first 5 minutes after the attack it can increase the chances of survival from 5% to 75%; the quicker that the victim receives treatment the better their chances of survival.

A bystander could save a life

By using a defibrillator, any bystanders at the scene can begin to administer correct and efficient treatment by using an electric shock to reset the victim’s heartbeat. Despite their appearances and the serious nature of their capabilities, defibrillators are very simple devices that anyone can use to potentially save the life of someone who is having a SCA.

Inside each machine is a set of clear and easy to follow instructions, and the device’s in-built audio guides the user through the process of administering aid. These instructions include basic life support such as administering the recovery position, chest compressions and rescue breathes.

During day-to-day life defibrillators pose no threat whatsoever in the workplace and employers should not fear that the device will put their employees in any danger. Defibrillators only work when placed on a heart with an irregular pulse and, in order that they don’t come unstuck at the vital moment, each one has a built-in alarm which notifies the first aid officer when the device’s battery life is low.

UK Government pledges £1m to incentivise defibrillators

In March this year, the government announced that it would provide £1m worth of incentives to encourage the use of defibrillators in public places including schools, and supporting training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The details of how the funds will be distributed are as yet unknown however, it seems that the British public will be becoming more accustomed to the presence of these potentially life saving devices. The Health and Safety Act (1974) employers are responsible for providing employees with a duty of care and a working environment that is safe; this includes monitoring fire safety, the use of machinery, and the use of chemicals. Yet, every year there are considerable numbers of workplace incidents, many of which could be prevented if the certain precautions were taken.

According to The UK Health and Safety Executive in 2014 1.2 million people suffered from a workplace illness, 629,000 were injured in the workplace and 142 people died at work.

Amongst the varying workplace incidents sudden cardiac arrest is one of the most common causes of premature death and can affect anyone, of any age at any time. In 2013 NHS Emergency Medical services attempted to resuscitate 28,000 victims with survival rates across the country ranging from 12% to as low as 2%. Research suggests that a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7-10% for every minute that they are not resuscitated.

In the broadest terms, during a cardiac arrest the victim’s constant rhythm which controls the pulse of their heart is suddenly replaced with a stunted and chaotic heartbeat. This starves the bodies’ vital organs of oxygen which can cause lasting damage that in some cases is never recovered from.

Fortunately, there is a way that casualties of SDA can be prevented and if aid is administered in the first 5 minutes after the attack it can increase the chances of survival from 5% to 75%, essentially the quicker that the victim receives treatment the better their chances of survival.

By using a defibrillator any bystanders present at the scene can begin to administer correct and efficient treatment by using an electric shock to reset the victim’s heartbeat. Despite their appearances and the serious nature of their capabilities defibrillators are very simple devices that anyone can use to potentially save the life of someone who is having a cardiac arrest.

Inside each machine is a set of clear and easy to follow instructions, and the device has in-built audio instructions that can guide the user through the process of administering aid. These instructions also include basic life support such as administering the recovery position, chest compressions and rescue breathes.

Despite their nature and capabilities, during day to day life defibrillators pose no threat whatsoever in the workplace; employers shouldn’t fear that the device will put their employees in any danger. Defibrillators only work when placed on a heart with an irregular pulse and in order that they don’t come unstuck at the vital moment, each one has a built in alarm which notifies the owner when the battery life is low in the device. The batteries are easy to change and

In March this year the government announced that it would provide £1m worth of incentives to encourage the use of defibrillators in public places.

By Scott Beaman, digital writer for Defibshop.co.uk