Richard Evens: Employee want access to life saving equipment

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Every year thousands of people die of cardiac arrest when first aid could give them the chance to live. Recent research by St John Ambulance has revealed that currently 72% of businesses don’t have access to an AED (Automated external defibrillator), which can shock the heart back into rhythm, and increase chances of survival up to 75%.

This is despite the fact that employees feel businesses should have this life saving piece of equipment on the premises. Two-thirds (66%) of employees believe that employers should reasonably be expected to keep one. One in five employees (20%) even knows of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest at their workplace. Yet employees admit that faced with an emergency situation, many would not know what to do and would readily welcome first aid training.

AEDs are now so simple to use that access is the most important thing. It means that anyone, trained or untrained, can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved in an emergency.

The first time you use an AED can be extremely stressful so we’d strongly recommend employees attend training on how to use them so that their first experience with the machine is not in a life and death situation. Overwhelmingly, 95% of employees agree that training would make them feel more comfortable using an AED on a cardiac arrest victim.

The 11-15 April is First Aid Awareness Week. Why not use this as a spur to ensure your staff and customers are protected in your business.

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About Richard Evens

Richard Evens, Commercial Training Director, St John Ambulance

Richard is Commercial Marketing Director at St John Ambulance, the nation's leading first aid organisation and market leader in workplace first aid training. Responsible for training programmes and educational standards, Richard has been involved in consultation with the HSE since the early development of new guidance for the content and structure of workplace first aid training. He has liaised widely with the HSE and other stakeholders to apply the collective expertise in first aid to the new guidance, becoming a board member of the First Aid at Work Council which was created during this process.

Before joining the charity sector 10 years ago in a retail development role for Oxfam, Richard worked in marketing and logistical roles with Shell and Total Oil. He lives in north west London spending time with his family, trying to keep up with two energetic young children.

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