Cardiac Arrest on Construction Sites
Approximately 10,000 cardiac arrests occur at work. Due to the job's physical demands, construction workers are seen to be at a higher risk of experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.
In 2016, construction workers experienced 21 percent of all fatal accidents and an injury rate 71 percent above the average rate for all other occupations, even though construction workers in the United States represented less than 8 percent of the American workforce during this time.
THE DIFFERENCE AN AED CAN MAKE
The average time for the emergency medical services to arrive at the scene is seven minutes. For a victim of cardiac arrest, this can be too late because the victim's chance of survival decreases by 10 percent for every minute that passes without treatment.
Construction sites are not always easy to access, increasing the time it takes the emergency medical personnel to arrive at the scene on a construction site, ultimately reducing the victim's chance of survival.
According to the AHA:
A 55-year-old construction worker in Colorado went into cardiac arrest in 2012, and again in 2015, while on the job. Thankfully, the employee was saved both times due to the availability of an AED and co-workers who had CPR training.
In 2018, a Williamsburg construction worker also suffered a cardiac arrest after being struck by a beam on the job. The worker survived thanks to an onsite AED and the quick-thinking actions of other workers.
The best way to protect workers from a fatal Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is to ensure there is an increase in CPR knowledge and the number of AEDs available (The Construction Association, 2020).