Frequently Asked Questions About What Businesses Require AEDs

Frequently Asked Questions About What Businesses Require AEDs

July 11, 2022

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s heart suddenly stops beating. About 365,000 SCAs occur in the United States each year; of these, about 10,000 happen in the workplace. While an SCA can happen almost anywhere, they are more likely to occur in some businesses.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a life-saving device that anyone can use to restart the heart after an SCA. While AEDs have been around for many years, the laws requiring AEDs are constantly changing and somewhat confusing. Most business leaders want to comply with regulations and help save the lives of their employees and customers, of course, but many businesspeople have questions about when and where AEDs may be required.
Here are a few of the most common questions regarding AEDs in businesses and their answers.

FAQs About AED Requirements for Businesses

Is an AED required by OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a large regulatory agency that ensures safe workplace working conditions. OSHA’s Medical Services and First Aid Standard, 29 CFR 1910.151, states that adequate first aid supplies should be readily available but does not specifically require AEDs to be included in first aid supplies. In other words, OSHA does not require businesses to have AEDs on site.

Are businesses required to have an AED?

There is currently no federal law requiring businesses to have automated external defibrillators, but many states require certain industries and facilities to have AEDs. Some counties and cities also require specific companies to have an AED on the premises.
Why are some businesses required to have AEDs while others are not?

Even though SCAs can happen anywhere, they are more likely to occur in some settings and some people. For example, sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death in athletes during strenuous physical activity, so it is reasonable to have AEDs in gyms and other places where athletes are exercising.

What businesses are required to have an AED?

While each state has its requirements for AEDs in businesses, some organizations are more likely to fall under state regulation for AEDs. For example, Arkansas, California, Illinois, and several other states currently require gyms and health clubs to have AEDs because exercise increases the risk of having an SCA.
Some states require AEDs in other specific businesses. The State of Washington requires dental offices that administer anesthesia must have an AED available, for example, while Oregon requires companies that have more than 50,000 square feet of floor space or at least 25 people who congregate to have an AED available.

Cities and counties may also have AED requirements for local businesses. San Diego County in California passed a building regulation requiring new construction or building alterations to place AEDs.

For more information about businesses where AEDs may be required, consult with the AED professionals at Defibtech. We understand that AED requirements can be confusing, so we are always glad to answer your questions.