Can Lifesaving Courses and Equipment Reduce Liability?

Can Lifesaving Courses and Equipment Reduce Liability? on

CPR, AED, and First Aid training may reduce liability for schools, businesses, and other organizations

If you own or operate a business, making sure your employees receive lifesaving medical training could help reduce your legal liability. Research from the American Heart Association estimates that up to 70% of Americans do not know how to properly perform CPR or use an AED, rendering them helpless in several emergency situations. Unless you work in a specific profession that requires it or have already mandated training, there’s no reason to think that your employees are better educated about these lifesaving skills than the average American.

Many businesses and organizations simply hope that an emergency won’t occur on their property, or simply fail to plan for the possibility. Either way, ignoring the issue isn’t an effective risk management strategy. It pays to prioritize safety by investing in lifesaving training for workers – including CPR, the use of AEDs, and First Aid.

Lawsuits and settlements underscore the legal risks of an untrained staff

In today’s litigious culture, businesses rightly fear that a lawsuit could seriously hurt their finances – or even put them out of business. Personal injury and accidental death claims are a huge business, constituting a large portion of the 15 million lawsuits that are filed each year in the U.S. Add the expense of defending against a lawsuit and the fact that plaintiffs win approximately 55% of cases taken to trial, and it begins to make sense why so many business owners go to great lengths to avoid them.

Fortunately for businesses (who make up around one-third of personal injury defendants) the vast majority of lawsuits don’t go to trial. Instead, they’re usually settled via a confidential out-of-court agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant. But even if you can convince a plaintiff (such as the family of a deceased employee or customer) to settle, you may have to pay a lot in the process. In 2015, the death of Hollywood executive Mark Palotay in a Los Angeles-area gym led to a lawsuit which was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount. The family sued because they alleged the facility did not have any employees trained in CPR or AED use, and staff did not even know the location of the nearest AED.

Companies can mitigate the risk of tragedy with a minor investment

An unfortunate aspect about many of these incidents is the ease in which they could have been avoided. For a business like a gym, with hundreds (or thousands) of members exerting themselves on a daily basis, it’s even more important to have employees with lifesaving training on-hand – in fact, it’s the law in California for gyms to have an AED. A simple training course and a relatively small financial investment could have saved a customer’s life and prevented the gym from being forced into an expensive legal payout. Plus, accidental deaths are never good publicity, especially in the age of social media.

Beyond common sense, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration requires that “In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid.” OSHA considers “near proximity” to be within 3-5 minutes of an emergency facility.

The federal agency also “recommends, but does not require, that every workplace include one or more employees who are trained and certified in first aid, including CPR.”

In addition, having at least some of your staff trained in lifesaving strategies will comfort both customers and employees. Make the investment in your workers and your organization – get them lifesaving training today.

To learn more about how lifesaving courses and equipment can reduce liability for your business or organization, contact One Beat CPR today for a free consultation.