In order to maximize the value from an AED program, it’s important to ensure that the AED kit is well-equipped with a pair of adult defibrillator pads; includes wall-mountable cabinet with an alarm, quick-use card and user manual; and perhaps most importantly, offers a fully charged battery pack.

AEDs should be placed in the facility so that retrieval to any possible victim location takes no more than 3 minutes. When a cardiac emergency happens, there is no one spot more likely than another, and time is of the essence. Cafeterias, breakrooms, fitness areas and other communal spaces often are good locations to install AEDs. Most importantly, safety managers need to make sure the AED is easy to see and access.

As with any safety program, employees should be trained in the proper use of an AED. Thankfully, due to advances in technology, automatic and semi-automatic AEDs have become seamless to use, with the AED assessing the victim’s situation and making all of the critical decisions.With the availability of self-training modules, real-time audio and video instruction and maintenance reminders, AEDs shouldn’t intimidate anyone. Liability should never be a deterrent to assisting with the use of an AED, and Good Samaritan laws are in place throughout the country.

With high expectations for safety and care in the workplace, organizations must be prepared to deal with all types of crises at any given time. As a facility manager or workplace safety expert, be sure to take your lead from state laws, OSHA requirements, industry regulations and the expected levels of care that exist within your facilities. Be sure to make safety preparations as comprehensive as possible; a life could depend on it.

Remember: It’s far easier to prepare for an emergency than to have to explain why you didn’t.