Important Factors to Consider When Creating A Rescue Plan for Your Property
A fall protection system is never complete without a proper rescue plan. Arresting the victim after a fall incident is just half the story. The outcome of the fall greatly depends on what happens soon afterwards. While the victim may be spared initial injury, they could suffer negative health consequences, such as suspension trauma, if they’re not rescued as promptly as possible. Such trauma could result in brain injury or death, hence why it is important to create an effective rescue plan. Consider the following factors when creating a fall rescue plan for your property.
- Familiarity with the Equipment
Every second matters in a fall rescue. The more familiar you are with the rescue equipment, the better your chances of saving every valuable second in the event of a fall. Most rescue equipment comes with the manufacturer's recommended safety guidelines, including information on proper application and tolerance of the equipment. Ensure to familiarise yourself with the equipment and respective guidelines, perhaps during your rescue training.
Regular inspection and testing of the rescue equipment is also essential to check and fix any risks, such as signs of damage or wear that could compromise its optimal functionality. It’s also important to consider the manufacturer of the safety equipment before purchasing. For instance, CE Marked fabrications are an indication that the products meet the set EU health and safety standards and directives, hence are approved for both domestic and industrial use.
- Familiarity with the Rescue Plan
You need to be well versed in the rescue procedure to effectively provide a coordinated and fast rescue. You need to practice all the steps of the best fall rescue approaches within your facility among all the workers who’ll be involved in the actual rescue. This is the best opportunity to get to know what equipment you’ll need and ensure it is available in strategic locations for efficiency and convenience when needed. You will need to practice until you reach an error-free, fluid, and timely rescue, considering that time is of the essence.
Proper training must be factored in if any fall rescue plan is to work effectively. As an employer or site safety manager, it’s your duty to ensure that all your workers involved in fall rescue receive proper training for an effective rescue. Most manufacturers have introduced various training programs on how to operate their rescue equipment and come up with a rescue plan. You may also consult a safety professional to help you customize a plan to meet your workplace safety needs. Regular rescue drills should be scheduled to assess the competence of the team and work on perfecting the plan. Be sure to include the outside rescue team (if any) in these drills as well.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prompt and effective action is vital to reduce the consequences if there is potential for injury in the event of a fall. But how long, exactly, does “prompt” mean? Well, this depends. If there is potential for injury, medical aid should be provided within 4 minutes, or within 15 minutes if the safety officer confirms that there’s no potential for injury to the victim. This can be a tough call, and the officer needs to be very sure with the decision.
Negative effects of suspension trauma usually begin to set in after about 3-5 minutes of being suspended in a safety harness. The trauma effects could worsen depending on the victim’s general health, health history, and their weight. This makes timing an essential factor to prevent the need for subsequent medical rescue if the rescue should take more than 15 minutes.