The collapse on the playing field of NFL player Damar Hamlin due to a cardiac arrest has brought to light how traumatic events can happen anywhere. According to the National Safety Council, 10,000 cardiac-related events occur annually on the job, but how well are New York employers prepared for such emergencies?
Employers face challenges in preparing their workers
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires workplaces to have trained first aid providers on site if the location is more than four minutes away from a clinic or hospital. For certain industries where workers’ compensation claims are frequent, like construction, employers may have a first aid staff with additional emergency training. However, no matter what the industry, companies must be able to ensure prompt medical attention for their employees who become injured or suffer a catastrophic medical event while on the job.
Early access to medical attention is crucial for many events, such as a cardiac arrest. In addition to first aid providers, companies should have life-saving equipment, such as defibrillators, on-site. Personnel should also receive training on how to use life-saving devices. All workplaces should have equipment that addresses cardiac arrest and train staff accordingly. The presence of emergency medical equipment could make the difference between saving a life and losing an employee to death.
What if my employer didn’t have the proper equipment?
Not having the proper medical equipment, untrained staff, or no nearby professional emergency response team can make a workplace illness or injury much more severe as vital moments tick away. Whether it’s loss of blood, lack of oxygen or something else vital to the human body, prompt medical attention can reduce recovery time and increase a victim’s chances of full recovery.
If you or a loved one suffered a medical event or injury on the job , you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Ensure that you keep thorough records of what occurred during the event to back up any claims you file.