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September 24th, 2017
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Do You Need a Fall Protection Rescue Plan?

If you have employees working at heights while using fall protection you most likely need a Rescue Plan. Every day workers around the country are required to put on a harness and go to work. Now imagine, what if one of those workers fell and was helplessly suspended in their harness? Do you have the equipment, training and plan in place to ensure the safe rescue of your employees?

Cal/OSHA §1670 (14) the employer shall provide for prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves.

Rescue can be a tricky and sometimes complex issue. There is no cut and dry solution that will work for all situations, so it is important that a Rescue Plan is developed at each individual location that workers are exposed to a fall. If an employee is left hanging in a body harness they are at risk of Suspension Trauma. This condition is caused by a number of factors related to falling and being suspended vertically in a body harness. In extreme cases, Suspension Trauma has resulted in death.

Do not assume that calling 911 or the fire department will be enough implement a rescue. It is a good idea to call ahead and ask about EMS response times and rescue capabilities when including this in your plan. The only way to put a Rescue Plan in to action quickly and effectively is to conduct on-site comprehensive rescue training for your workers. You may need special rescue equipment for quick decent or retrieval of an arrested worker. Workers should be able to demonstrate the correct procedures and operation of rescue equipment prior to being designated as on-site rescuers.

Suspended workers should be aware of self-rescue techniques and strategies that will prolong the period of time that they may be in the harness. These include the use of suspension straps that can be attached to the harness and stepped into, relieving stress from vital arteries in the legs. This critical training will get your employees to safety more quickly, limit the effects of Suspension Trauma and minimize the potential for the worst possible outcome.

Rescue is the final and often forgotten component of a complete Personal Fall Arrest System. Arresting a workers fall is just the first step in keeping your employees safe. Be sure your employees are prepared in the event of an emergency.

Versatile Systems specializes in rescue equipment and rescue training. Products like the Gotcha Kit and Limpet are just a few of the effective and easy to use products that we can provide. With Versatile Systems rescue devices and training the employer limits the risk of further injury after a fall. Rescue is an important step in the process of protecting employees from dangerous elevated work environments. Rescue should not be overlooked when accessing risk and providing safer work conditions for your employees.

Versatile Systems, Inc. is now a distributor of the Gotcha Kit and Limpet rescue and fall prevention system. Please call us at 855-VER-FALL to discuss your fall protection needs or fill out the form below:

Fill out the form below or call us today for more information on a Rescue Plan for your work site: Toll-Free (855) Ver-Fall or (855) 837-3255.

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