Seeking a safer work environment for HS2 rail staff and contractors, COOMBES have invested in automated external defibrillators (AEDs) which will be housed in mobile welfare units.
"It's an industry-wide commitment to ensure that everyone goes home safe at night, and through effective training and best safe work practices, we can eliminate many of the hazards that come with working on the rail. But unfortunately, cardiac arrest isn't always something that can be foreseen, which has prompted us to invest in this life-saving equipment for our remote teams."
Around 7.6 million people are living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK, causing more than 170,000 deaths each year, that’s an average of 460 deaths each day. It’s a scary number, but one that has halved since the widespread introduction of AEDs.
In the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest there is only a 6% chance of survival, even if CPR is being performed. However, if an AED is used within the first minute the chances of survival jump up to 90% and, sit at around 74% if used within 3-5 minutes. For every minute that passes without such intervention their likelihood of survival diminishes by 10%, after ten and a half minutes the chance of recovery is virtually zero.
"One of the often-overlooked hazards of working on the rail is the remoteness of some of the sites in which we operate, which can also be very difficult to access. This can impact the response time of emergency services to the worksite, and when every second counts having access to these mobile AED units can make the difference between life and death."
It's an overused cliché, but our people really are our most valuable asset, and nothing is more important to us than ensuring everyone returns home safely every day. This is why we make sure that all of our employees, wherever they work and whatever they do, have a positive attitude towards safety and demonstrate the right behaviours. As well as ensuring all of our staff have the relevant training and equipment to work safely, we also provide an Employee Assistance Programme, offering free, professional and confidential advice on a wide range of issues, 24 hours a day.