With February being American Heart Month it’s an appropriate time to take a look at Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). These powerful, life-saving tools have been commercially available since the early 1960’s and the devices (and the laws regulating them) have evolved over the years. Many users find the current generation of AEDs not only economical, but surprisingly simple to use and maintain.
AEDs were initially used on airplanes and in situations that could require considerable lengths of time to get a victim to medical help. Flight attendants and pilots went through special training and certification to learn how to use an AED. At that time, AEDs cost approximately $10,000 and required regular maintenance. Currently, AEDs are a fraction of that cost and the maintenance is very minimal. Plus, AEDs are very user-friendly and require little or no training.
AEDs are now accessible in many public places such as schools, churches, athletic clubs, golf courses and malls. In 2000, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services instituted a program called "Public Access Defibrillation" (PAD) that allows the public to use AEDs with liability protection (in most cases) under the "Good Samaritan Law". Furthermore, you can purchase an AED without a doctors’ prescription in most states in the U.S. More information about each state’s requirements and the Good Samaritan law can be found at the American Heart Association website, www.americanheart.org.
The use of an AED requires someone to open it up, turn it on and follow simple audible or visual instructions. These instructions include pictures to show where the pads go on a victim’s chest. If the victim needs to be shocked, the AED will instruct operators and bystanders to stand clear and not touch the victim. It then instructs users to push a blinking button to deliver the shock. Furthermore, the AED will not shock a victim who doesn’t require it. After the shock is delivered and the body jerks, the AED will tell you to begin CPR. When two minutes are up, the AED will tell operators and bystanders to stand clear again to analyze the heart rhythm to see if the victim needs another shock.
Most AEDs use lithium-ion batteries that should last from three to four years. An AED’s chest pads also have a shelf- life of three to four years. Most AEDs automatically perform their own self-test daily or weekly to check if the unit is functioning. If there is a problem (like low battery), the AED will typically provide an audible and visual prompt. The only maintenance needed is to have someone turn the unit on once a month to see if the batteries are getting low and to check the expiration date on the chest pads and order new ones if indicated. With this minimal maintenance, an AED can sit on a shelf or in a cabinet for years without ever being used.
If there are any mechanical problems with the AED when you turn it on for a monthly check, many AED manufacturers will mail you a loaner while you ship your unit in for repair. You simply mail the loaner back to them when yours is repaired.
Companies or groups that purchase an AED should provide some of their employees and members with CPR and AED training. This basic training (CPR and AED) takes around two hours and, according to the American Heart Association, is good for two years. It’s important to remember that any CPR (even chest compressions only) is better than no CPR. The sooner an AED is used, the greater chance of survival.
|by Wes Maertz, CSP |
Technical Support Specialist
Certified Safety Professional
B.S.E. in Occupational Safety
14 years at Grainger
Question: I’m starting a respiratory protection program, but I can’t tell from OSHA’s standard what qualifications are required for the individual who conducts the respirator fit testing. Do I need a Certified Safety Professional (CSP)?
Interpretation:OSHA states under 1910.134(c)(3): "The employer shall designate a program administrator who is qualified by appropriate training or experience that is commensurate with the complexity of the program to administer or oversee the respiratory protection program and conduct the required evaluations of program effectiveness." This includes fit testing. However, OSHA does not expand on specifics of qualifications. OSHA does not provide a definition of who is considered a "qualified person" to administer a respiratory program. There is a need for defined training for someone administering a respiratory program; that need has existed for 35 to 40 years. The burden of training someone to administer the program is left on the employer. Having someone with a CSP or safety degree is a recommended start.
Have a question for Wes or any of our other Technical Support Specialists? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for free help with safety-related issues.
The 2012-2013 flu season is off to an early and aggressive start. As of January 4, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) weekly influenza surveillance report shows widespread levels of flu activity in all but eight states.
Don’t have your flu shot? It is not too late. Flu vaccines typically protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and an H1N1 virus. Everyone six months and older should get vaccinated against the flu every year. It is recommended to get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available in your community. Immunity sets in about two weeks after vaccination.
People with flu can spread it to others up to approximately six feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Remember to cover your sneezes and coughs. To help avoid coming down with the flu, make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available an alcohol based sanitizer may be used.
In 2012, Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) again took its place on OSHA’s Top 10 Violations of the Year. This year, it ranked 9th with a total of 1,572 violations. In an effort to have LOTO removed from the list in 2013, OSHA has developed a Lockout-Tagout Interactive Training Program. The interactive program was brought about by the collaborative efforts of OSHA’s Directorates of Enforcement Programs, Safety Standards and Guidance, the Office of Training and Education and the Office of the Solicitor. Also contributing were OSHA compliance officers from Philadelphia, New York, and Atlanta.
The program has three major components: a Tutorial, Hot Topics and Interactive Case Studies. The tutorial section explains the standard in a question and answer format. Hot Topics consist of abstracts with a detailed discussion of major issues of LOTO. Finally, interactive case studies contain seven simulated LOTO inspections. The individual using the case studies makes decisions based on the LOTO standard. The program is geared to all employees from the recent hire to the experienced employee.
For more on LOTO, see please see Grainger’s Quick Tips summary on Lockout/Tagout.
According to OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1904.32, employers are required to post a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year. These items should have also been logged on the OSHA 300 Form. Companies are required to post only the Summary, not the actual OSHA 300 Form. This information must be posted in your facility from February 1 to April 30, 2013.
The OSHA Form 300A is to be displayed in a common area wherever notices to employees are usually posted. A copy of the summary must be made available to employees who move from worksite to worksite and to employees who do not report to any fixed location on a regular basis. Find out more about these reports on the OSHA Recording Keeping page here.
Myths vs. Facts: Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace
Each workday Grainger’s Technical Product Support team takes hundreds of calls related to occupational safety product issues. Based on these calls, some common misconceptions regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) have been identified over the years. We often hear questions like: I can wear my hard hat backwards, right? I need safety glasses with a tinted lens for UV protection, right? My employee is using a respirator in a voluntary use manner so we don’t need to implement OSHA’s full-blown Respiratory Protection Program, right?
On Thursday Feb 21st at 1 p.m. (CT), Grainger Technical Product Support Specialists Kelli and Paul will tag team in providing PPE product information.
If you’re interested in participating, visit our On The Job Webinar Series page to register.
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The content in this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific compliance questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.
If you have any questions regarding product specifications or applications, email us at SafetySupport@grainger.com