Fall Protection and Taking Steps Training
Even after realizing the need for training on fall protection and taking steps to prevent falls, accidents still happen. Now that you protected the lives of your workers, have you gone the extra step and identified how to rescue a worker in the event they fall on the protection system?
What is required by OSHA and recommended by ANSI?
“The employer shall provide for prompt rescue of an employee, or shall ensure they can rescue themselves.”
- ANSI Z359 takes things a step farther by recommending victim contact in 6 minutes by the rescuer.
- Industry best practice requires employers to provide competent and efficient rescue within 15-20 minutes from the fall.
- ANSI Z359.2 calls for written rescue procedures for all active fall protection systems, as well as detailed descriptions of the procedures for summoning rescue services.
Why should 911 not be your primary rescue plan?
Many companies believe that their local fire department or rescue agency can effect a rescue in accordance with OSHA, ANSI, and before suspension trauma sets in. In most situations it is not realistic to think your local rescue agency can reach a fallen worker within 6 minutes of the fall, and have them rescued within 15-20 minutes.
If this is your rescue plan, have you practiced this with your local first responders?
Do they notify you when they have known delays or are unavailable due to training or emergency calls?
Did you know that not all 911 rescuers are trained in the technical nature of a fall rescue?
Rescues of victims that are beyond the reach of a ground ladder (6 – 30 feet) or a ladder truck (60 – 90 feet), require additional training that is not provided to every firefighter or emergency responder. Since these rescuers are not something that occurs as often as a fire or medical emergency, may 911 agencies rely on regional response teams, or inter-agency agreements for these types of emergencies.
That means rescue might not be as close to you as you may think.
How fast can properly trained 911 responders arrive on scene and rescue the victim?
The NFPA recommended response time for the first rescuer to arrive at the location of an emergency is 6 minutes 30 seconds. This is assuming that the first responders are coming from a 24/7/365 staffed agency that has the appropriate number of stations positioned adequately to allow for travel time to all areas they cover.
There are multiple factors that can delay a response time past the 6:30, which may include:
- Volunteer agencies that do not staff rescue equipment and stations
- Closest rescuers dedicated on another emergency
- Closest rescuers unavailable due to agency training schedule
- Brownouts, blackouts, or closing of rescue stations due to staffing, budget, or political issues
How should you prepare for a rescue emergency?
Organizations that utilize fall protection should train their workers and internal emergency responders in how to perform basic rescues from the fall protection system in use. This expedites getting the victim out of a hanging/vertical position, decreases the potential for suspension trauma, and allows emergency medical personnel faster access to treating the victim.
Elevated Safety’s Rescue After The Fall training courses cover a full range of rescue options for your facility. In addition to self rescue, buddy rescue, and team based rescue techniques, we will cover basic first aid and techniques for caring for the injured worker. Our rescue instructors use methods and your equipment, as well as demonstrating the newest equipment and techniques available.