Workplace AED Requirements

All businesses should have an AED, but some must have an AED

While there isn’t a national requirement that employers or businesses must purchase and provide AEDs for the workplace, it’s well-documented that Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) happens in the workplace and that Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) save lives.

The benefits that AEDs provide (saving lives) greatly outweigh their costs (investment to buy one). Therefore, all 50 states have passed strong Good Samaritan Laws to encourage more AED deployment.

Requirements for Businesses to buy AEDs

Many industries and facilities are required to have AEDs, and fortunately, every state offers liability protection for AED users. Here are some examples of current state AED requirements:

  • Gyms and health clubs in 15 states are currently required to have AED units because exercise significantly increases the likelihood of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Other facilities and businesses that serve  athletes or involve exertion that increases the heart rate should also seriously consider buying an AED
  • Dental Offices that deliver anesthesia in the state of Washington are required to have AEDs due to the risk of SCA
  • Places with high occupancy or building capacity are increasingly required to have AEDs. If you work for a large employer or a business with significant customer traffic, you should consider purchasing an AED. In Oregon, businesses that have over 50,000 square feet of floor space and at least 25 people who congregate have an AED requirement

Cities and counties may also have AED requirements for businesses on the local level. In 2008, San Diego County passed a building regulation (San Diego Municipal Code 145.3901) requiring certain new construction or building alterations to place AEDs. Several years later, in 2015, California adopted similar state law, requiring certain new construction built on or after January 1, 2017, to include the installation of AEDs. 

As with many other types of legislation, we frequently see trends spread between states in rapid succession. While a state may not have an AED requirement today, it is possible that a new law is just around the corner.

Best Practices to Buying an AED

Since every state sets its own requirements, you should check to see if and how your state’s AED laws impact your business. In the absence of legal requirements, however, it still makes sense for certain types of businesses to buy AEDs including: 

  • Fitness facilities, like health clubs and gyms
  • Large gathering areas, like theme parks and stadiums
  • Dental offices and alternative care facilities like dialysis centers, surgery centers, and medical clinics
  • High occupancy buildings, such as large office buildings, and big-box stores

What Requirements do Business Owners Have When they Own an AED?

Businesses that own an AED may have other requirements to help make sure that they meet their state’s laws and are entitled to receive statutory immunity from civil lawsuits via Good Samaritan liability protection. 

Every state’s laws are different, but the AED requirements can typically be summarized into the following categories:

  • CPR/AED training requirements
  • AED registration requirements
  • AED medical direction requirements
  • Post-use requirements

CPR/AED training requirements
Aside from potentially being part of a state’s Good Samaritan law, providing CPR & AED training at your workplace just makes sense as it equips your employees with life-saving skills. The more awareness and information businesses provide, the better.

CPR & AED training helps bystanders learn the signs and symptoms of SCA and prepares them to render aid effectively during an emergency. Additionally, CPR & AED training is a skill that employees can take home and use to protect their families, friends, and communities. 

AED registration requirements
Some state laws require that AEDs be officially registered with local EMS, 911 call centers, public safety answering points, or state centers. Check with your AED manufacturer for more details, but registration is a service that should be expected of the manufacturer. If they can’t help you directly, we recommend looking for a new supplier.

AED medical direction requirements
At times, AED registration and medical direction, also known  as “oversight” go hand-in-hand. Check out the options offered by your AED manufacturer and try to work directly with them if possible. If an AED manufacturer cannot offer direct medical direction requirements without outsourcing the work to a third-party, look for another option.

Post-use requirements
If your AED is used, some states require paperwork to be completed about the incident. This process is called “post-use reporting” and it should be something your AED’s manufacturer offers as a service.

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