Fall prevention is a necessary strategy needed in all workplaces that deal with significant heights. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is the best base line to have for fall prevention, but it can not take all the risks away from the workplace. With that in mind, here are the 5 top things you need to know about Fall Rescue Planning:
Your time becomes very limited after a fall has occurred. The victim can begin to have Orthostatic Tension (or suspension trauma) in as little as 20-30 minutes. Once a fall has happened, you need to have a plan in action immediately to keep any severe damages from occurring to the victim. Any questions about a rescue plan have to be answered before, so that you are able to use all your time to rescue properly and safely.
- One Size Does Not Fit All
In construction, your environment is constantly changing. Using a rescue plan for a high rise building will not work on a construction site of a one story office space. This means that your plans will need to be continually reviewed and adjusted based on your environment.
- Unconscious Victim
There are some great tools that can help prolong the amount of time before Suspension Trauma sets in on a victim, but this tool can only be used if your victim is conscious. This is the same if a victim is working alone and falls, they are only able to call for help if they are conscious. Create a plan that prepares for the worst, and keeps all workers as safe as possible.
There is a ton of equipment designed for this exact purpose – a fall rescue. This equipment cannot save the victim alone though, if workers are not capable of handling the equipment, this can put the victim in even more danger. Make sure to have all workers trained to operate rescue fall equipment in case of a fall scenario. It is also important to know your limits, and when you feel incapable in a situation, call the rescue department, because there is a person’s life on the line.
- Why Did This Happen?
OSHA’s hierarchy of control – can you engineer out of the hazard? Although you will be unable to take away every fall hazard from a job site, there are many options to help reduce the risks, such as railings, retractable lanyards, or travel restraints. Preventing someone from falling is better than having to rescue someone who has fallen, so it is time to make all job sites as safe as possible.