Employers must have personnel trained to administer first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the workplace where medical facilities are not available, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The need for CPR is not necessarily job-related. Employees trained in CPR must be able to recognize a variety of scenarios and respond in the proper manner. Five types of workplace CPR scenarios to test your skills include unconsciousness due to unknown reasons, choking hazards, workplace injuries, cardiac arrest and exposure to toxic chemicals.
Scenario 1: Office Unconscious
You work in an office environment that presents minimal workplace hazards. One day you walk into a colleague’s office to find her sitting in a chair, slumped over the desk. She is unconscious and you can't feel a pulse. You’ve known this person for awhile and have no knowledge of any medical conditions. You call for help and must administer CPR to a colleague who, for unknown reasons, is unconscious and not breathing.
Scenario 2: Lunchtime Hazard
You enjoy your lunch hour and frequent the break room to eat with several co-workers. Things are going great until one co-worker abruptly stands up grasping his throat. He is making gurgling noises and collapses on the floor. You recognize that this is likely a choking hazard and prepare to administer the Heimlich maneuver. Before you can do that, the victim collapses and stops breathing. You must administer CPR to this apparent choking victim.
Scenario 3: Workplace Accident
A warehouse order picker has been pulling double duty for two days in a row. In a hurry to pick a product, she takes a shortcut, which causes an avalanche of heavy boxes to fall, pounding her on the way down. She falls to the floor unconscious and bleeding. When you arrive on the scene, the victim is not breathing and bloody. You must follow steps to administer CPR to a victim who is injured, unconscious and not breathing.
Scenario 4: Not on the Agenda
You are in a meeting when a manager sitting across the conference room table puts his hands to his chest and mumbles that he thinks he’s having a heart attack. He stands up, takes a step and falls to the floor. The victim tells you he has heart problems before he lapses into unconsciousness. Before the paramedics arrive, you must administer CPR to an apparent heart attack victim who is no longer breathing.
Scenario 5: What’s in the Air?
You work in a research laboratory and suddenly smell a faint, chemical odor. Your ventilation hood is working just fine, so you continue with your work. Moments later, a co-worker, not working under a hood, coughs uncontrollably. She walks towards the door and collapses. Not sure if the collapse is related to the chemical odor, you put on a nearby escape mask, sound the emergency alarm and exit the lab. Before paramedics arrive, you must get the victim to a clean atmosphere before attempting to rescue and to revive.
Deb Dupree has been an active writer throughout her career in the corporate world and in public service since 1982. She has written numerous corporate and educational documents including project reports, procedures and employee training programs. She has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee.