Focus
February 08, 2018

Saving lives: Why you should offer employee CPR certification

When someone experiences a cardiac arrest at your workplace, the difference between life and death could be the person sitting in the next cubicle — specifically, whether that person knows CPR.

Nearly nine in 10 people who suffer heart attacks outside the hospital will die. But when they receive CPR within the first minutes after the attack, their chances of survival increase two- or threefold.

That’s a great argument for offering CPR training at work. You provide your employees with a skill that could save someone’s life.

“We spend much of our awake time with our coworkers, and CPR training is about being aware and prepared for a medical emergency or a work-related accident,” says Todd Faubion, Pinnacol’s director of security and our lead for CPR/AED training.

While Colorado has a relatively low incidence of heart attacks compared with the rest of the country, heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the state, according to the American Heart Association.

Faubion says most companies are lucky to have 10 percent of their workers trained in CPR. By holding multiple training sessions each year free of charge, Pinnacol has increased that to 25 percent of its employees.

“Teaching employees CPR aligns directly with our vision to lead a revolution in caring — for people, businesses and our community. Teaching CPR empowers our employees to step forward and take action with the appropriate skills when someone near or close to them suffers a medical emergency,” Faubion says.

That, he notes, is another compelling reason for conscientious employers to embrace CPR training — employees can use it anywhere, anytime. Faubion knows Pinnacol employees who have called on their training to help others on the job as well as in their private lives.

CPR training also doubles as an emergency preparedness class. The class covers chest compressions and resuscitation breaths, of course, but people receive instruction on how to keep a clear head and assist quickly in other life-threatening situations too.

“What you’re able to get in that three-hour class are not only lifesaving skills but also being empowered to do something when something starts to go wrong,” Faubion says. “It’s a different level of awareness.”

That might mean holding an elevator for the paramedics en route to the office building or locating your workplace’s on-site automated external defibrillator, also known as an AED, which can deliver a lifesaving shock to a heart attack victim.

Classes don’t have to cost you a lot. Faubion says Pinnacol used to hire an outside entity to teach CPR but slashed expenses by certifying several employees as instructors.

“The American Heart Association says you have the greatest likelihood of performing CPR on someone close to you, whom you know and see every day. Employees need to know what to do when things like that happen,” Faubion says.

Organizations that offer CPR certification:

We're sorry, Pinnacol doesn't currently offer CPR certification training courses. For any other safety-related questions, please contact us at safetyoncall@pinnacol.com or 303.361.4700.

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