Corporations Now Required to Receive CPR Training
Millions of medical personnel will be undergoing new cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training after the significant changes recommended by the American Heart Association in its newly released 2010 CPR Guidelines, but the widespread re-education isn’t limited solely to those in the health industry. In order to stay updated with OSHA’s emergency provision requirements, thousands in corporate America - from CEO’s to janitors - will need to obtain current CPR certification.
Rewriting the ABC’s
The most notable difference in the way CPR response method for trained medical professionals is a divergence from the well-known “A-B-C” format, which called for airway, breathing, and then chest compressions, to a “C-A-B” format, or chest compressions, airway, and then breathing. While this change may not seem overly substantial, the focus on beginning chest compressions before initiating breathing assistance will require changing the process trained responders are used to following. The way compressions are to be performed has also taken a turn, and responders will have to work harder and faster to administer the 2 inch deep 100 compressions per minute called for in the new guidelines.
“Look, Listen, and Feel” – a traditional adage that called for responders to observe the victim’s condition before administered resuscitation – has also been removed in an effort to shorten the time that lapses before a victim receives compressions. For untrained lay persons who lend aid to a cardiac arrest victim, the new publication says to administer chest compressions only, with no interruptions for airway breathing.
The changes come after 5 years of study indicating that deep chest compressions, which induce circulation to the brain and organs by manually pumping the heart, are more beneficial for victims than trying to oxygenate a victim through mouth to mouth breathing. Victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) usually have enough oxygen in their bloodstream to supply the heart and brain for several minutes if the blood is circulated.
The Reason for the Need
To look at the numbers, there are over 1 million deaths per year that result from cardiovascular disease – a condition with afflicts over sixty-one million Americans - and a third of those deaths (300,000 -400,000) are due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Basically, heart attacks are relatively common occurrences, and corporations are called upon to help in the line of defense against SCA. With the average response time for EMT’s (especially in rural areas) longer than a cardiac arrest victim’s statistical time-limit for survival without CPR, relying upon the paramedics without immediate action from on-site responders would result in an even higher death toll.
OSHA, the well known Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the enforcer of first-aid and CPR preparedness in the workplace, issues compliance standards for first aid and CPR training that must be adhered to by certain companies, depending upon the type of industry and location. Industries involving logging operations, electrical power generation and distribution, dive teams, construction power transmission and distribution, and those who operate within permit-required confined spaces are required to train all employees in first aid and current CPR methods.
In regards to all other occupations, OSHA standard 1910.151 states, "The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health." This somewhat vague mandate means that many companies could be found liable for non-compliance with regulations if they can’t provide on-site medical care when an emergency arises.
Since rural emergency response times are longer, the OSHA requirement also states that "In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid." The health giant has interpreted "near proximity" as 4-6 minutes from injury to medical care in "In areas where accidents resulting in suffocation, severe bleeding, or other life threatening or permanently disabling injury or illness can be expected."
If such injuries aren’t common to that type of business – according to OSHA’s piles of labor injury records – then it is considered reasonable to have area response times as long as 15 minutes – typically enough time for EMT’s to arrive, letting the company off the hook for CPR training.
OSHA recommends CPR training for all businesses in every industry due to the staggering number of cardiac emergencies, but for those companies that fall within standard 1910.151, CPR training must be provided. If your workplace is among the industries with required training, at least one employee must be trained to respond at all times - for all others, OSHA compliance various according to the likelihood of injury in your industry.
How Does This Affect Your Workplace?
OSHA looks to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004 Summary Report (the latest data available), to determine a company’s risk factor. To find out the requirements for your business, visit the BLS website (www.bls.gov) and check the rating for your industry. If there is any question about the requirements of your company, remember that when it comes to the health of your team, it’s better to be safe than sorry. OSHA also suggests that training should be regularly maintained and recommends updating CPR training for life-threatening emergencies every year, as does the American Red Cross.
Companies required to provide first aid may be in for a shock when they discover just how much knowledge is required in the minimal acceptable first-aid and CPR training programs.Employees must be able to “demonstrate their ability to perform the various procedures”, including the knowledge and care of respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, hemorrhaging, lacerations, amputations, musculoskeletal injuries, eye injuries, shock, burns, paralysis, drug overdose, and poisoning, fractures, and CPR.
Obtaining the Training
While OSHA requirements may seem staggering to some small businesses in high-risk sectors, with numerous retailers offering convenient training packages, meeting the mandate is not as difficult or expensive as you may expect.
Our goal at AED-SHOP.com is to educate the public about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and how AEDs increase the survival rate. In need of an AED for your organization, CPR training for your staff, or AED replacement accessories? Contact us today with your questions or concerns at 877-251-7467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.