OLYMPIA – During cardiac arrest, access to an Automatic External Defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death. Rep. Dan Bronoske, D-Lakewood, sponsored HB 1542 to require that crews working on high-voltage lines have an AED on hand. The bill passed the Washington House of Representatives on Saturday with a unanimous vote.
“Lineworkers do the hard and dangerous work of keeping our power flowing. They work high above the ground next to high-voltage lines, often in inclement weather. These are some of the most dangerous jobs in the country,” said Bronoske. “There are numerous examples of AEDs being used on a lineworker, allowing that worker to go home to their family. Most major companies already provide and maintain AEDs for their workers. This bill would simply ensure this best practice is adopted by all employers and no one gets left behind.”
Coming in contact with a high-voltage line can cause sudden cardiac arrest. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a medical device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm and then delivers an electric shock to restore a person’s heart to its normal rhythm. Law already requires at least one person trained in CPR to be available when employees are working on or near power lines. This bill would simply go one step further and require crews working on or near high-voltage lines to have an AED on hand.
“During cardiac arrest, access to an AED can mean the difference between life and death,” said Bronoske. “Lineworkers take great risks to keep the lights on. Having this vital piece of personal protective equipment should be the standard. This bill will have the added benefit of getting more AEDs out into the community. You never know when you’ll need an AED until you need one.”
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.