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The Safety Brief In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews
and insights into how contractors and safety managers
can be even more effective in protecting their workers.
In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews and insights into how contractors and safety managers can be even more effective in protecting their workers.

CPR & AED Trained Workers

People will be safer at work, and companies could have lower insurance premiums if employees know CPR & AED operation. Training is recommended for at least some workers, across all shifts and departments.

CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is performed on someone whose heart has stopped. 100 chest compressions per minute, about the tempo of the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive,” is recommended. Compressions should go two inches deep into the chest.

An AED, automated external defibrillator, shocks the heart to reset the beat. Trained users can easily attach the unit’s pads and electrodes which assess the victim and determine the need for shock. AED signage in the facility should be posted to improve visuality so workers can quickly find the unit.

The American Red Cross and others offer CPR & AED training, with certifications lasting one or two years.


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Dan Clark: Welcome to The Safety Brief. I’m Dan Clark and this is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.

Cardiac arrest at work. That worker could be saved if coworkers have CPR & AED training. If it happened to you, I’m sure your family would appreciate someone stepping up and saving your life. Training employees in CPR and the use of an AED is essential. Some companies train everybody, some just a few. Just make sure you have enough to cover all shifts and vacations. Employees benefit, feeling safe and valued. The company benefits with potentially lower insurance premiums and less risk of lawsuits.

Training. It can be given in a number of ways:

1. Basic training DVDs can introduce workers to these topics.

2. Licensed trainers from the American Red Cross and other groups offer training classes all over the country. Since an emergency may call for both, CPR & AED classes are often combined. Certifications usually last for one year or two years.

CPR Basics. CPR is cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It keeps the blood moving through the body when the heart stops beating. Number one on the CPR list is chest compressions. Rescue breaths are less important. So, if there’s only one person to do CPR, they should focus on compressions.

The responder should do 100 compressions per minute. That’s about the tempo of the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. Trainers across the United States have used that song as an example of how to time the beats when you’re doing compressions. Sing it to yourself as you push down on the chest. It often takes 5 to 15 compressions the start blood flow, so don’t let up, and the compressions should go down about 2 inches. Consequently, broken ribs can happen, especially with the elderly and be careful with children too. CPR is tiring work so having more than one person trained is very helpful.

AED Basics. An AED is used to shock the heart to restore a normal rhythm. Pads placed on the chest will analyze the person’s heartbeat to determine if a shock is really needed. The device is pretty smart and provides written and verbal instructions on whether you should shock the patient or not. Some even more high-tech machines will actually shock the patient on their own when a shock is needed.

Once people are trained and you have equipment in your facility, make sure that it’s clearly labeled so people can find it in emergency. Each minute of cardiac arrest leads to a 10% lower survival rate, so getting to an AED quickly is critical.

That is all for today’s episode. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at


CPR Training from the American Red Cross

First Aid CPR/AED First Responder Testimonials from the American Red Cross

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