Imagine the relief of a fallen worker when he realizes a fall arrest system has worked, saving him from a life-threatening plummet. Now imagine the panic that sets in when the worker realizes there is no rescue plan in place. This doesn’t have to — and shouldn’t — be the case. Ideally, the fallen worker will, instead, be comforted by watching a well-coordinated rescue plan spring into action. OHS Online
CRAS Inc. Fall Arrest Rescue Training
Course Duration: 2 Days, Approximately 15 hours
Ticket expiration: 3 years
Our Post Fall Arrest training course is designed for any personnel who work at heights in industry. This course teaches the basics of self rescue as well as assisting a fall victim. Participants will expand their rescue skills, as well as better understand the requirements of CSA, Worksafe, OSHA and ANSI with regard to rescue.
Our basic rescue course provides workers with the knowledge and skills to both operate safely at height and to perform rescues in an effective, safe and reliable way. This course will teach students to set up and use fall protection systems and belaying methods to protect rescuers during rescue operations. Participants will become capable of selecting and constructing rescue systems for raising and lowering casualties. Students will learn to properly handle ropes and tie knots that might be used in a rescue. Upon completion of this course students will also be capable of disconnecting incapacitated workers from fall arrest systems and lowering them from height. Our fall arrest rescue course focuses on conducting rescues in a work setting where co-workers will be responding to a worker who has fallen and is suspended by a fall arrest system.
Why Do You Need Fall Arrest Rescue Training?
Health and safety organizations throughout North America are beginning to recognize that Post-Fall Arrest Rescue training is an essential part of a complete fall protection plan. Fall Arrest training and equipment by themselves are not enough, a proper fall protection plan must consider procedures for the recovery of a worker who has fallen and is suspended by a personal fall protection system or safety net, but is unable to self-rescue.
“Orthostatic intolerance may be experienced by workers using fall arrest systems. Following a fall, a worker may remain suspended in a harness. The sustained immobility may lead to a state of unconsciousness. Depending on the length of time the suspended worker is unconscious/immobile and the level of venous pooling, the resulting orthostatic intolerance may lead to death. While not common, such fatalities often are referred to as “harnessinduced pathology” or “suspension trauma.” OSHA
“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.” OSHA
No Fall Protection plan is complete without “the procedures for rescue of a worker who has fallen and is suspended by a personal fall protection system or safety net, but is unable to self-rescue” WorksafeBC
“Fall Protection Plan… The plan should also include procedures for rescuing a worker who has fallen, and is suspended by a personal fall protection system or safety net.” CCOHS
“When a fall protection plan is not required by regulation the employer must still consider the need for rescue or evacuation under OHSR section 4.13. It is critical that a worker who has fallen and is dangling in fall arrest equipment be rescued as quickly as possible. The risk of a worker dying because of pressure on their vitals while waiting to be rescued is also a danger and is in part why having a fall protection plan in place is crucial. However; prevention is key.” BCCSA
“Harness Hang Syndrome” aka “Suspension Trauma”
Anyone who remains motionless while suspended in harness for a prolonged period of time, may be at risk of developing “suspension trauma” or “harness hang syndrome”. Very little is actually known about Harness Hang Syndrome due to a lack of scientific research on the subject, and so there remains a great deal of debate and myth surrounding the phenomena. Vague hypothesis of the physiology and expert opinion vary widely on the subject matter and no substantial research can be sited that defines the proposed pathology in the literature.[i]
In 1978, Doctor Maurice Amphoux conducted tests hanging subjects in a parachute harness. The test subjects lost consciousness after a few minutes of hanging and one subject lost consciousness in only 3.5 minutes.
In 1984, the Medical Commission of the French Federation of Speleology (FFS) had two subjects hang immobile in their standard caving vertigear (Frog systems) with no particular controls. One subject lost consciousness after about 30 minutes and the other lost consciousness after only 7 minutes
Several theories exist to explain Harness Hang Syndrome. The predominant theory suggests that gravity causes blood to pool in the veins of the legs, resulting in a lack of circulating blood volume, and syncope (fainting). This is commonly known as orthostatic incompetence, and is typically seen when a soldier stands motionless at attention for a prolonged period of time. Normally if a person is not suspended in a harness, and they “faint”, they will fall horizontal, allowing blood to return to their brain. When the subject is hanging in a harness they can not fall flat when they faint, and their brain will continue to go without oxygen, resulting in death. This problem is further believed to be aggravated by the harness restricting blood flow away from the legs.
“This condition, which can be fatal, occurs when a person is suspended motionless in a vertical position in the harness while awaiting rescue. When a person is suspended vertically and perhaps in shock, blood tends to pool around the legs, putting extra pressure on the heart while it attempts to pump blood to the brain. The situation can be made worse by the constrictions of the harness. Suspended workers with head injuries or who are unconscious are particularly at risk. The person must be rescued quickly (under ten minutes)...” CCHOS
[i] Roggla, G., Moser, M., Roggla, M.; Suspension Trauma.Emerg Med J 2008;25:59 doi:10.1136/emj.2007.
Lee, Porter. Suspension trauma — 24 (4) 237 — Emergency Medicine Journal