Forklift-truck industry leader Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has made a major contribution to the occupational health and safety of its employees by purchasing 18 automatic defibrillators for use in its offices nationally.
All TMHA offices across Australia will have a defibrillator fitted on site, while three of the largest offices (in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne) will each have two units.
TMHA Executive Vice President and COO, Steve Takacs, said the company bought the defibrillators to allow the immediate treatment of staff members or visitors who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.
"It is sobering to realise that 55,000 heart attacks, or one every 10 minutes, occur in Australia every year," he said.
"Of those people who suffer a heart attack 10,000 die each year, or one every 53 minutes.
"Crucially, one in four people who die from a heart attack do so within the first hour of their first symptom occurring," he said.
Mr Takacs said the TMHA initiative is consistent with its parent company Toyota Industries Corporation's philosophy of zero harm to its people and the environment.
"We aggressively promote a culture of safety first; our people are constantly reminded not to undertake any activity that may cause them or others harm," he said.
The fully automatic defibrillators require no operator interaction beyond placing the electrode pads on the patient.
After the pads are applied, the fully automatic defibrillator evaluates the heart rhythm and, if a shockable rhythm is detected, delivers a shock without any responder assistance.
Voice instructions help guide the responder through the defibrillation process.
TMHA has an impressive history of implementing OH&S training and initiatives.
It pioneered TAFE training for forklift technicians and has developed a range of workplace-safety equipment.
Its safety credits include an easy-to-use swing-out type bracket for LPG bottles on forklift trucks.
In October 2010 an industrial tyre changer developed by TMHA staff won the WorkCover NSW SafeWork Award for "best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue" from a field of 37 nominees overall and 11 finalists in its category.