Defibrillator bill passes second reading

Ontario bill would make AEDs mandatory in public spaces

A bill that would make it mandatory for defibrillators to be installed in public spaces has passed second reading in Ontario.

Bill 41, the Defibrillator Access Act, would be the first of its kind in Canada requiring automated external defibrillators (AEDs) be installed in public spaces such as schools, fitness facilities and hockey arenas in the province.

“With greater access to this life-saving tool, public facilities in our communities will be safer places for all of us to gather to lead more active and healthy lives,” said Ted McMeekin, the Liberal MPP who introduced the private member’s bill.

Marco Di Buono, director, research with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, said less than five per cent of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive.

“Think how many lives could be saved if it was mandatory,” he said.

The foundation, with the assistance of government, corporate and community partners, have installed 2,194 AED units and trained 12,500 people on their use. To date, the program has helped save 22 lives.

For more information on AEDs and how they’re being used in workplaces, look for the June issue of Canadian Safety Reporter. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today to take advantage of our special introductory offer on this new publication from the editors of Canadian HR Reporter.

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