• 30 May 2019

Waterman install defibrillators across all UK offices

With nearly 30,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) occurring each year, Waterman are proud to have installed LIFELINE AED Semi-Automatic Defibrillators within its UK offices.

Whilst there is currently no legislation in the UK which states it is mandatory for an employer to provide a defibrillator within the office, The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 has deemed it necessary for the provision of equipment which enables first aid to be administrated to employees if they are to become ill at work.

The Heart Rhythm Society have explained the most common cause of SCA is from a dangerous and abnormal heart rate, called ventricular fibrillation (VF), which prevents the heart from effectively pumping blood around the body. Without blood being able to provide oxygen to the key organs, such as the brain, a person can lose consciousness and suffer a SCA within a matter of minutes. An AED is the only way of shocking the heart back into its normal rhythm.

In the same way every working environment has fire extinguishers and blankets for the unlikely event of a fire, AEDs are now considered an important addition to commercial first aid kits thanks to its ability to allow even the most inexperienced person to operate the equipment.

Whilst waiting for the emergency services to arrive on site, voice instructions guide the responder through the rescue process, applying electrode pads to the patient’s chest so the defibrillator can analyse the heart rhythm and advise if a shock is required. Delivering a shock and beginning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) within the first 3 minutes of an SCA significantly increases the chances of survival by up to 70%.

Despite these AEDs being created for an untrained user, Waterman recognises that employees should feel comfortable in using them, and our qualified health & safety managers are on call for any training purposes and monthly self-tests of the equipment to ensure it is always ‘rescue ready’.

Philip Varney, Group Director of Facilities Management, commented; “As a group, we put the well-being of our staff at the heart of the business. This is because our people are our greatest asset. The introduction of the AED in all our offices enhances our capabilities to ensure we can respond effectively to our staff in a medical emergency.”

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