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All workplaces urged to install life-saving device

(Image: AAP)

Authorities have urged employers to install a life-saving device to potentially rescue a staff member in dire medical need.

WorkSafe Victoria stated that anyone can operate an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a person that's suffered a heart attack, knowing that it could save a life and cannot cause any more harm.

"Very few people survive a cardiac arrest without swift assistance and the use of an AED might be the difference between life and death," said WorkSafe executive director Julie Nielsen.

A person suffering cardiac arrest will die within minutes if no treatment is provided. Both cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an AED can restart a stopped heart.

Modern AED machines have voice prompts and graphics that can guide anyone on how to use it on a person in need.

"Anyone can use an AED. You do not need specialised training, but you do need access to one to save a life," said Nielsen.

Ambulance Victoria were called out to 6,434 cardiac arrest cases during the 2017-18 financial year, according to WorkSafe. A publicly accessible AED saved 82 of those victims.

Earlier this year, supermarket chain Woolworths announced it would install AEDs in 500 stores by the end of June.

The call for employers to consider installing AEDs came this month as WorkSafe published new guidelines on how to install and use them in the workplace.

The agency advised employers to follow these tips:

  • Locate AEDs in well known, visible and accessible locations.

  • Ensure AEDs are properly set up and ready to use.

  • Do not keep AEDs locked away.

  • Register AEDs with Ambulance Victoria to enhance ease of access.

  • Demonstrate the use of AEDs to staff so they know how simple the process is.

  • Undertake routine maintenance checks.

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