Safety is paramount in our industries, ensuring the well-being and health of workers as they navigate the challenges of their daily tasks.
We all know the essentials:
- Are you wearing a helmet? Yes
- Are you wearing Hi-Vis? Yes
- Are you wearing suitable footwear? Yes
But have you considered the importance of having access to a life-saving defibrillator?
Construction & Scaffolding sites present numerous hazards, from electrical risks to potential accidents during erection, excavation and trenching. With these risks in mind, maintaining a safe work environment is absolutely crucial, which is why strict health and safety protocols are in place.
Given the higher risk of injury in construction & scaffolding, it is essential to provide employees with added protection, including access to an automated external defibrillator (AED) on all construction sites.
A sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or fitness level. During a cardiac arrest, the heart's normal rhythm is disrupted, preventing it from effectively pumping blood to the vital organs in the body.
Imagine a cardiac arrest occurring on site. Every second becomes critical in increasing the victim's chances of survival. With each minute of delay, the likelihood of survival decreases by 10%. However, if CPR and a shock from an AED are administered within 3-5 minutes of the collapse, survival chances can increase to an impressive 74%.
So, what exactly are AEDs and why are they crucial on our work sites?
An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a portable device that can be used on anyone over the age of one who has suffered a cardiac arrest. It delivers an electrical charge to the heart, effectively shocking it back into a regular rhythm. The beauty of AEDs lies in their user-friendly design, making them accessible to everyone, regardless of prior experience or training.
As site workers, we frequently engage in physically demanding tasks, putting us at risk of experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. Despite the large workforce and the abundance of construction sites in the UK, many of them lack access to a defibrillator.
Moreover, construction & scaffolding sites are often located in challenging environments, making it difficult for medical assistance to promptly reach the area during emergencies. Work can take place in various settings, from tall buildings to underground structures. Consequently, when a worker experiences a cardiac arrest, precious time may be wasted trying to access the victim and deliver life-saving care.
By having an easily accessible AED on site, anyone present can utilize it to provide definitive treatment to an SCA victim. The AED allows for monitoring the victim's heart rhythm and delivering a shock if necessary. This significantly increases the chances of survival while awaiting professional medical assistance.
Now, you might be wondering if your company should invest in an AED?
We all understand the physically demanding and high-risk nature of our jobs. And our companies also understand the value of effective risk assessments and equipment that prioritizes the industry's most valuable asset: the employees.
Every employer wants to ensure the health and well-being of their staff, and access to an AED is crucial in high-risk professions. Without this, 90-95% of cardiac arrest victims will tragically lose their lives. By keeping an AED on-site, you protect your employees against cardiac arrest and give them the highest chance of survival in the event of an emergency.
Remember, scaffolding and construction sites are about more than just physical structures. They are also about the people who build them. Prioritizing safety, including access to AEDs, is not only the right thing to do; it's an investment in the well-being of your workforce.