How to Create a Company CPR & First Aid Training Program That Works
-By Micah Bongberg Google+ | @annuvia
Imagine a typical work day in your company office. All is going well until, suddenly, one of your employees collapses. He is suffering from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) attack. You rush to the phone, and make the call to “911” for emergency medical response. Everyone is gathered around the victim, wondering how long it will take for the ambulance to arrive. It seems as if there is nothing can be done but to simply wait in horror, and hope that this man does not die.
It is imperative that employees and managers are trained to in CPR and first aid. Bystanders who witness a medical emergency are often called to help, but many lack the proper training to assist a victim effectively. It can take medical personnel 8-12 minutes to arrive which, for the victim of SCA who needs defibrillation within the first 4 minutes of an attack, can be deadly. First aid training is a vital part of the business world today. A proper training program will ensure that a victim receives immediate help, and that a life may be saved.
Creating a First Aid Program for Your Workplace
Every company must have a basic training program in place, and the proper life-saving medical devices on site. Taking the time to develop and implement an effective program is a great way to demonstrate compassion for employees and customers alike and, thus, should become a standard of practice. The following addresses 5 primary factors that should be taken into consideration when developing a company CPR and first aid training program.
1. Understand the legal implications
There are a variety of legal requirements for CPR and first aid training programs, some of which vary by city and state. For instance, certain states require registration with the local emergency response system or a doctor’s oversight and program approval. In addition, these programs may be required Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) – depending on the type of business. Thus, and not having one in place can cost a company a great deal of money: if a medical emergency is not handled correctly, insurance claims, OSHA fines, and productivity losses may negatively affect a business.
With regards to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), annual prescription renewals are needed for a company to remain compliant with legal requirements. A program that has been established but is not “up to code” is virtually useless, as the potential for lawsuits is great. Thus, if the program coordinator has any legal concerns, it is best to seek services from an outside company that specializes in a first aid training programs.
2. Purchase an AED
While not all states require companies to have an AED on site, many business owners purchase this device as a safety precaution. The initial cost of purchasing an AED and establishing a first aid training program is dependant upon manufacturer pricing and specific AED models (the cost varies between $1,100 and $1,800 per unit). Many people purchase AEDs over the internet, for the benefit of convenience. However, most online retailers do not offer support in AED installation or program implementation. It is imperative to find a seller that won’t disappear after a unit has been purchased!
Setting up an AED involves much more than simply purchasing a unit and plugging it in. The unit model must be selected, and the decision of where it will be placed should be made. Once the AED has arrived and been set up, the amount of training needed and the team of employees who will learn to use the device must be decided upon (note: training only one person in use of the AED can be detrimental, as this individual may not be present when an emergency arises, or may be the victim of an SCA attack).
3. Choose an effective program and instructor to train the emergency response team
A detailed emergency response program must be established to ensure that employees on site are knowledgeable and able to assist a victim in the event of a medical emergency. From a risk perspective, it is important to remember that a poorly-developed program can lead to liability, but a well-developed program can lead to great success. Utilizing a professional training organization – one that is knowledgeable about regulations and offers complete medical direction and oversight – is invaluable in creating any safety program. The consultants should understand Public Access Defibrillation programs and efficient program design as well.
Using a qualified first aid instructor will ensure that employees receive more than the basic CPR training – they will learn how to truly save lives. First aid training that uses a live person, as opposed to one that relies on books or videos, has been proven to be the most effective technique within the group setting.
4. Publicize the program
It is important for everyone in the company to be familiar with the safety program, and to know who is trained in use of the AED. An internal, company-wide safety campaign is an effective way to ensure that the entire company understands that safety is an important part of the corporate culture, to get every one on board with the decision. The campaign can be communicated through the following: Emails, press releases, memos, flyers posted near each AED unit, and information included in the company handbook for new-hires.
5. Monitor the program:
A poorly managed program is worse than no first aid program at all. A training leader should be designated to ensure that the proper protocol is followed. Records of training and device maintenance schedules should be current and kept on file, as OSHA compliance officers may periodically inspect a company throughout the year. In addition, the information distributed to employees should be updated with any changes, in order to keep the entire company informed of new safety measures.
A successful first aid training program should be incorporated into every company’s design plan. While never incurring a medical emergency would be ideal, training employees in first aid, CPR, and AED’s is a necessary precaution. Feeling secure in the fact that a life can be saved is worth the time and effort in the end.
Written by: Jennie Sikora, Marketing, Annuvia, Inc.