UK businesses feel unequipped for medical emergencies

Only 49 per cent of business owners feel confident they could handle medical emergencies at work, research finds.

Attitudes towards medical emergencies that require a defibrillator is the focus of a survey by defibshop.

The cost of a defibrillator is cited as the main reason for putting business owners off a potential purchase, with 55 per cent of those surveyed saying the price tag would deter them from buying one.

Despite a lack of confidence, 78 per cent of those surveyed say their workplace has three or more members of staff trained in first aid. Additionally, 98 per cent currently have a first aid box on their premises, and have stressed the importance of a workplace feeling safe for employees.

The study of 300 businesses also discovers that many respondents bought a defibrillator due to the lack of available Automated Electronic Defibrillators in their surrounding area.

A safe workforce

David Howarth, chief executive of defibshop says, ‘Making your workforce feel safe and valued is the sign of a great business, and it’s brilliant to see companies recognising the need for this.

‘While more businesses are investing in an important piece of equipment like a defibrillator, there are still many more workplaces that could benefit from having one onsite.’

Howarth adds that, with nearly 60,000 Sudden Cardiac Arrests occurring outside of a hospital every year, there is still a need for more defibrillators to be widely available, particularly at work, in the event of medical emergencies.

‘When a defibrillator is used within 3-5 minutes of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the survival chances raise from 6 per cent to 74 per cent, which shows just how vital these machines are.

‘While the cost is a deciding factor for many business owners, there are many options to make these life-saving machines accessible, whether it’s a lease or raising the funds via charity work.’

Further reading on health and safety in the workplace


Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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