First Aid Defibrillators
Do I have to provide a defibrillator?
There is no specific legal requirement for employers to provide automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require the employer to provide, or ensure that there are provided, such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first aid to be rendered to employees if they are injured or become ill at work.
The responsibility for deciding whether to provide defibrillators and train staff in its use lies with an individual organisation. A decision should be made after conducting a well-documented risk assessment at the site in question.
Coronary heart disease is the largest single cause of death in the UK. It is estimated that 12,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in a public place each year and application of an AED within five minutes of collapse has been reported to greatly improve the sufferer’s chances of recovery.
HSE states that “there is no legal bar to employers making a defibrillator available in the workplace if the assessment of first-aid needs indicates such equipment is required”. Important factors to consider when assessing the risk of cardiac arrest will include the number of people using a facility and the risk of cardiac arrest occurring at the site.
Employers also have no legal obligation to provide first aid for members of the public. However, many organisations provide a service for others and the HSE strongly recommends that employers include the public and others on their premises when making their assessment of first-aid needs.
At Seton, we stock a range of user-friendly Defibrillators as well as being able to provide Defibrillator Training Courses for up to 12 delegates. To arrange a free demonstration of our Defibrillators simply contact us for more details.