A Defibrillator saves lives, but they must be ‘maintained’.
This blog will touch on what your legal requirements are in relation to the care and upkeep of your public access defibrillator:
A defibrillator when in ownership of an organisation will come under those organisations Provision Under Workplace Equipment Regulations. This is a statutory requirement and means that the unit must be checked as per manufacturers guidelines and at time intervals as stipulated in those guidelines. Not to do so puts the owning company in breach. It is therefore very important to read the manufacturers guidelines and ensure that you are inspecting accordingly, this may include checking for signs of a drop or fall, water ingress, integrity of seals and more.
Your public access defibrillator will very likely have a control panel which will show battery life, electrode life and state of device, they also self-test for faults, but under your PUWER regulations you must still cheque the device and record your findings. It is worth noting that to deploy a defibrillator in a non-clinical environment and by non-emergency personnel, could under due process, initiate a Coroner’s Enquiry if the resuscitation attempt was unsuccessful. It is very important not to be found wanting in your duty of care to your device in this process.
PUWER, is not new legislation and perversely maybe problematical for this medical equipment. For a company’s employee to check the equipment, as required, record the findings, as required, and then report back to company, as required, perfectly insulates any risk in house, should there be an issue relating to the efficacy of the device. More and more organisations feel that it is worthwhile to outsource the maintenance checks to a third party, preferably the manufacturers equipment supplier. Defib Plus, are recognised to offer the most comprehensive service in this respect and includes efficacy certification for each unit after inspection, demonstrably proving your Best Practise around Duty of Care to the device. Outsource your compliance, outsource your risk.