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

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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.”

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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