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Cardiac Arrest: Health & Safety in Facilities Management

Sudden cardiac arrest is a vital cause of death in people of all ages. This risk increases with age. Resuscitation is essential in such a scenario for the prevention of death. 

In an event of a medical emergency, the very first thing that needs to be done is the initial examination of the situation to find out the root cause of the problem.

Given the importance of safety and health in facility management within workplaces or organizations, having the right provision in place to combat sudden cardiac arrest can make a difference between life and death.

This content piece will explain the facts about cardiac arrest, the current state of health and safety in facility management, and how employers can prevent their staff from such incidents.

General Statistics of Cardiac Arrest 

In Europe, nearly 1 in a 1000 people has seen to suffer cardiac arrest each year. There are nearly 60,000 cardiac arrest cases in the UK annually. 

Nearly 357,000 cases out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases are seen in the United States. This makes a huge number every year in workplaces, organizations, and businesses. Resuscitation is attempted to only half of these, but fewer than 1 out of 10 survive such a situation.

What Causes Cardiac Arrest?

Most cases of cardiac arrest occur due to abnormality of the heart’s electrical rhythm also known as ventricular fibrillation (VF) in which electrical signals that usually control the heartbeat become chaotic and uncoordinated.

The heart stops beating and circulation of the blood around the body stops. If not analyzed on time and required assistance given, it can lead to death as well.

For immediate assistance, defibrillation is provided to the patient, which is the process of providing electric shocks to bring the heart back to its normal rhythm. 

Facts on Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

The facility management sector can be classified as a high-risk sector in numerous ways, including the people passing through the building, the difference in age, or the nature of the location. Regardless of any sector, the sudden cardiac arrest does not discriminate. There is no single factor when determining the cause of the issue. But the major reason as described earlier is ventricular fibrillation which causes the heart to stop pumping. 

The symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and feeling weak, or lightheaded. The problem may become worse without proper treatment or even lead to death.

Along with this, some key facts regarding cardiac arrest are:

  • Nearly 80% of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur in homes, and 20% will occur in public places 
  • Without immediate assistance or treatment, 90-95% of causalities will lead to death 
  • The chances of survival increase 6-74% if a defibrillator or effective CPR is performed within the 3 to 5 minutes of the incident 

Health & Safety in Facility Management 

When it comes to facilities management, there are an array of responsibilities attaining to health and safety. It is essential to understand, whom these responsibilities lie. It lies to multiple people, but in general, it is everyone’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe workplace.

Employers have a legal duty of care for the well-being of their employees. This includes providing assistance, training, and guidance in various issues like workplace hazards, fire hazards, providing first aid at work, or any such hazard.

Defibrillators in the Workplace & Ways Employers Can Prevent Their Workers

As stated earlier providing health and safety is the ultimate duty of responsible persons. Whether employers have got a large and varied workforce, working with high-voltage equipment, or be it the task of installing a defibrillator to improve the survival of chances in the event of a cardiac arrest, they must be trained and well-equipped.

To identify the root cause of the problem regarding SCA, employers must need to conduct a primary survey in first aid so that effective control measures are taken to minimize the health risk. 

There are numerous ways employers can save their employees and defibrillators are considered an effective method in this regard. While there is no specific law regarding the use of defibrillators at work, employers must include automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in their first aid assessment needs.

When these AEDs used with CPR can make a difference between life and death. However, there are some scenarios where AEDs fail to provide the required results. The key reason why few people survive an SCA is that these AEDs are not used on time when in need.

If used properly and effectively, they can increase the chances of survival up to 74%. Therefore, employers must need to have trained personnel within their work premises so that they can provide first aid in case of such an emergency.  

Health & Safety Training for Staff

Providing sufficient training can help employers meet legal ramifications and prevent the safety of their employees. There is no way health should be compromised over anything, if employees feel unwell and insecure, they are likely to leave the workplace for a better opportunity.

Therefore, those in managerial roles must need to identify their staff health and safety training courses need so that there is a safe and secure workplace for all.  


Health and safety are the top priority of everyone working within any sector of work. Numerous health concerns can make or break a workplace culture. Health concerns regarding cardiac arrest are one of the prominent ones. This blog explains it in detail and what employers can do to protect their workers.