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More than half of workers aren’t trained on first aid, CPR: survey

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NSC AED

Photo: Michael Sharkey

Dallas – About 10,000 cardiac arrest situations occur in the workplace each year, yet only 45 percent of U.S. employees have been trained in first aid – and only 50 percent of workers know where to find an automated external defibrillator – according to the results of a survey recently conducted by the American Heart Association.

Researchers surveyed more than 3,000 workers in various industries, including more than 1,000 safety managers in OSHA-regulated industries. They found that 50 percent of workers overall – as well as 66 percent in the hospitality industry – could not locate their workplace’s AED. Results also showed that more than 90 percent of participants said they would take first aid and CPR/AED training if their employer offered it, and 80 percent said that it was “simply the right thing to do.”

From the "First Aid, CPR and AED" course offered by the National Safety Council. Learn more about NSC first aid and CPR training – including online and classroom training for learners, and courses and materials for instructors. © 2015 National Safety Council

Other findings:

  • 73 percent of office employees believe a co-worker would know how to provide first aid in an emergency, and 70 percent of general industry workers reported the same.
  • 66 percent of workers in education believe a co-worker would know how to use an AED if the situation called for it, and 57 percent of office workers reported the same.
  • 68 percent of office workers rely on a co-worker to know how to administer CPR.

“The data suggests these untrained employees may be relying on their untrained peers in the event of an emergency, leaving employees with a false sense of security that someone in the workplace will be qualified and able to respond, when that is clearly not the case,” Michael Kurz, co-chair of the AHA Systems of Care Subcommittee, said in a June 19 press release. “First aid, CPR and AED training need to become part of a larger culture of safety within workplaces.”

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