Weekly Safety Meeting – Automated External Defibrillators

Automated External Defibrillators

According to OSHA there are 220,000 victims of sudden cardiac arrest per year in the United States. Of these, about 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur in the workplace. Are you prepared to save someone’s life in these instances?

Waiting on emergency personnel to arrive only results in a 5-7% survival rate.
Studies with immediate defibrillation have shown up to 60% survival rate one year after sudden cardiac arrest.

The most effective way to restore a person’s heartbeat is to use an AED in conjunction with CPR. When CPR and an AED are administered to a victim within the first two minutes of a cardiac event, the chances of survival increase 90 percent. AEDs have become the most reliable and successful pre-hospital treatment available to victims of SCA, especially because they are easy for people who lack medical experience to operate.

An Automated External Defibrillator is an electronic device designed to deliver an electric shock to a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Ventricular fibrillation may be restored to normal rhythm up to 60 percent of the time if treated promptly with an AED, a procedure called “defibrillation.”

Causes of sudden cardiac arrest:

  • Heart attack;

  • Electrocution; or

  • Asphyxiation (loss of consciousness and death caused by inadequate oxygen in the work environment, such as in a confined space).

When to use and AED:

  • A person could be in cardiac distress if he or she suddenly collapses or is found unconscious.

  • First, confirm the person is unconscious. Check for responsiveness by shouting at or gently shaking or pinching the person.

  • If the person does not respond, call 911. If you are not alone, instruct a specific person to call 911.

  • Check the person’s airway for obstructions.

  • If the person is not breathing, instruct a specific person to begin CPR while you get the AED, or vice versa. If you are alone, begin CPR first.

  • CPR should be done for 2 minutes, with a ratio of 2 breaths per 30 chest compressions.

  • Use the AED after one complete cycle of CPR.


How to use an AED:

  • Be sure that the person and space around him or her is completely dry and clear of people.

  • Remove clothing above the waist. The chest area should be bare of jewelry, metal accessories, and other objects. Most AEDs provide a razor or scissors to shave chests and cut clothes.

  • Turn on the defibrillator. There will be instructions to follow.

  • Place the sticky pads on the victim’s bare chest.

o Correct placement is one pad below the collarbone of their right side, and one placed below their left breast.

o Pads must be flat against the skin of the victim.

o Pads should be placed at least one inch away from implants or piercings.

  • Press the ANALYZE button. It will inform you if a shock needs to be delivered. 

    o No shock advised; continue CPR until emergency services arrive.

    o A shock is advised; clear the area around the victim and press the SHOCK button.

  • Continue CPR immediately following the shock.

  • After 2 minutes, utilize the AED to ANALYZE the person’s condition again.

If the victim regains consciousness, or can breathe on his or her own, STOP using the AED and STOP CPR.

Caution with an AED:

  • Do not use an AED on children younger than 8 years old (or below 40kg/85lbs) unless using pediatric electrode pads.
  • Do not use the AED on conductive surfaces (water, metal, fluids etc.) to avoid electrocution.
  • Do not touch the person while a shock is being delivered.



Placement of AEDs:

  • AEDs should be conveniently installed at or near the following 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; and

  • Remote sites, such as off-shore drilling rigs, construction projects, marine vessels, power transmission lines, and energy pipelines. 



Safety can distinguish you…Lack of safety can extinguish you!! 


Download flyer: SMOTW_537_Automated External Defibrillators.pdf (607.74 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_537_Automated External Defibrillators_esp.pdf (609.96 kb)

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