What Are the Benefits of AEDs in the Workplace?

Cardiac emergencies can happen at any time. One of the most common and dangerous cardiac events is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition that can be fatal unless the victim gets help immediately. In such cases, what you need to use is CPR, but you also need to combine it with an AED to help the victim survive.

While the efficiency of AEDs is beyond a doubt, access to one in case of a cardiac emergency remains the number one issue. Since AEDs do not come in pocket-sized versions, workplaces, public gathering spots, and educational institutions, to name a few, all need to provide AEDs. But what are the benefits of AEDs in the workplace? Well, given that people spend about half of their waking hours at their place of work, the benefits are numerous, as we will demonstrate in this article.

The Relationship Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and AEDs

The heart’s working rhythm is controlled by an elaborate electrical system that tells the heart exactly when and how strongly to contract. When disruptions appear in this electrical system, the heart, despite being perfectly capable of contracting, does not get clear signals about what to do, resulting in a flickering state called fibrillation.

When a heart enters fibrillation, it lacks the strength to pump blood, resulting in a condition known as cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest comes suddenly, and it can affect anyone. When someone is suffering from cardiac arrest, an immediate reaction is crucial to increase their chances of survival and recovery.

That is exactly where an AED comes into play. The device can easily tell whether someone’s heart activity is normal or not while also administering an electric shock when necessary. Electrical shocks stop the heart, kicking in its fail-safes, which restart the electrical system and hopefully get it back into a normal working rhythm.

Using an AED, albeit a much more advanced version of it, is the go-to reaction of health professionals when cardiac arrest happens in a hospital setting. Since most SCA events occur outside a hospital, portable AEDs are designed to be very user-friendly and easy to use so that bystanders can make the most out of having one at hand.

What Are the Benefits of AEDs in the Workplace

Obviously, having an AED available can be a deciding factor in whether a cardiac arrest victim lives or dies. However, the benefits of having multiple AEDs available in any workplace extend far beyond just this life-saving property:

    1. Rapid Response and Time-Sensitive Treatment: In cardiac emergencies, time is of the essence. Every minute without action decreases a victim’s chances of survival by 10%. By having the ability to rapidly retrieve an AED in the workplace, you can quickly respond to a cardiac event by providing vital treatment before emergency medical services can take over.

    1. Effortless Operation: AEDs in workplaces and public institutions allow maneuverability and ease of use. They provide audible and visual instructions that make operating the device easy and intuitive, even with minimal training.

    1. Better Chance of Survival: As confirmed by studies, the crucial benefit of having AEDs in the workplace is that you help someone survive the SCA. Namely, research indicates that an AED in the workplace improves survival rates during sudden cardiac arrest events. Early defibrillation, when combined with immediate CPR, can drive the survival chances of victims in critical condition up by 50%.

    1. Increased Confidence and Preparedness: Knowing that AEDs are easily accessible throughout the workplace can instill a sense of safety among employees. Training and re-training employees in the basic aspects of CPR and AED further extends this feeling of safety and preparedness, as you know you can both help your colleagues in case of need, while they can do the same for you.

    1. Compliance with Health and Safety Regulations: Currently, the legal framework that addresses the mandatory presence of AEDs in the workplace is not a matter of federal law in the USA. It is down to state or local law, but jurisdictions that recognize the importance of AEDs in public spaces and workplaces exist. They have implemented regulations or guidelines regarding their presence, training, and use.

    1. Positive Public Image: Walking into any workplace, whether as an employee or a client, and seeing AEDs readily available contributes to a positive public image for the organization. Everyone will feel more confident knowing that the facility can handle cardiac emergencies.

Implementing an AED Program in the Workplace

Having AEDs available in the workplace is one thing. Once you get the devices, you must ensure that you have the correct number and type of AED, that you do regular maintenance, and that all employees are up to date on using the devices.

To ensure all this, you will need an AED program, which all organizations can implement by undertaking some specific steps:

    • Risk assessment: Certain areas where people gather the most should be the primary AED sites in any organization. Identifying areas where cardiac emergencies could happen helps determine the number of AEDs required for a specific workplace.

    • AED device selection: Despite the training most people undergo, trying to deliver an electric shock to an unconscious colleague is a highly stressful scenario, especially if you’ve never used an AED in real-life situations before. Fully automated AEDs are the best bet for most workplaces, given their reliability, durability, and ease of use.

    • Employee training: Training all employees in using AEDs and CPR is essential to any AED implementation program. Remember that the training doesn’t end with the initial certification, and employees should get refresher courses annually or bi-annually.

    • Emergency response plan integration: A cardiac arrest emergency does not end when you hook up an AED to the victim and use it as the directions indicate. You may not be successful with the first attempt, so having a clear-cut plan is crucial. This includes mapping and marking AED locations, training people to communicate in an emergency, and integrating transfer of care to medical emergency service upon arrival.

    • AEDs maintenance and inspection: AEDs have components that have expiry periods, like batteries, electrode pads, leads, etc. Professionals must regularly inspect all AEDs in the workplace based on a predetermined schedule.

    • Raising awareness: Both employees and visitors need to be aware of the importance of having AEDs accessible in the workplace and the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest. Posters and email newsletters are two great ways of raising SCA awareness and demonstrating the invaluable role of AEDs.


AEDs can turn a grave emergency into one with a positive outcome. While trying to answer what are the benefits of AEDs in the workplace, we covered pretty much every aspect of the relationship between AEDs and sudden cardiac arrest.

A quick, rapid response, easy device accessibility, and increased survival rates are just a few of the key benefits of having AEDs readily available throughout the workplace. Combined with the proper training in using AEDs and CPR, employees and visitors feel safer and more confident in their reactions to emergencies.

Staying proactive can make a crucial difference in life-or-death situations, so signing up for one of our CPR and AED courses is necessary to feel safe and make others feel safer in the workplace. Book your spot in our upcoming NYC classes now!