AEDs at Work: Factories, Warehouses, and Industrial Environments

Implementing AEDs in factories, warehouses and industrial environments

Industrial environments create unique challenges for AED implementation.

We’ve talked before about how AEDs should be implemented in work environments and particularly the corresponding OSHA guidelines, but industrial environments create unique challenges for AED implementation. Workers in factories and warehouses are generally active throughout the day which can trigger cardiac arrest in individuals with existing irregular heart rhythm. The presence of heavy machinery also creates the risk of trauma-induced sudden cardiac arrest.

Given these factors, it’s a no-brainer that AEDs are needed in every industrial environment. The question then becomes just how many AEDs do you need to safely protect your factory or warehouse? We know that in order for the sudden cardiac arrest patient to have the best chance of survival an AED should be retrieved within two minutes of collapse. A recent calculation by AED management company Readiness System’s relied on the assumption that in the average environment a lay rescuer could travel 150 feet in one minute. This means that in two minutes, the rescuer could retrieve an AED and bring it to the patient. With this radius set at 150, that means an AED can cover about 70,000 square feet.

This means, at a minimum, you should have one AED per 70,000 square feet of your facility. However, there are other considerations you should make. What type of machinery or shelving would block a rescuer trying to retrieve an AED? Are they multiple levels or stairs that would make quick retrieval difficult? Where can you install the AED in a wall bracket that will both be easily accessible and free from debris?