Whenever working at height is necessary, it’s important to maintain appropriate safety measures and ensure that emergency procedures are in place should an incident unfortunately occur. The most common injuries caused by falls from height are head injuries, impalement, obstructed airways and fractures. It’s important that there are plans in place to treat these injuries in an emergency situation, and that appropriate first aid training has been given to staff on site.
WorkSafe regulations have specific guidelines for safety requirements when working at height and guidelines for appropriate emergency procedures should an incident occur. All safety measures and equipment must be regularly tested to ensure there are no faults. Risk minimisation audits should be undertaken regularly to make sure that the highest level of site safety is maintained and all workers have received appropriate emergency training.
When developing emergency plans and procedures, it’s necessary to consider different scenarios that are likely to occur in order to provide adequate planning. Using information that has been gathered during site safety audits will help ensure that the procedures are adequate.
It’s important to ensure that every worker on site has access to first aid equipment and that all emergency equipment stored on the worksite is clearly signed and easily locatable.
It’s also important to ensure that workers have all the appropriate first aid training and can confidently use the provided equipment, should the need to arise.
Workplace regulations stipulate that all emergency procedures, including those for falls need to be clearly detailed in the overall safety plans for every worksite. The process of establishing these plans and procedures would take into account the following:
Location of the work being undertaken:
Capabilities of Rescuers:
Local emergency services— if they are to be relied on for rescue:
Suspension trauma can occur when a person has an arrested fall and is suspended in a safety harness which places pressure on the veins and arteries in the legs, causing tissue damage.
Blood becomes trapped in the legs which reduces the ability of the body to send oxygen to the brain, slows down their heart rate, causing them to pass out.
The risks of this condition can be exacerbated by heat and dehydration, which should be taken into particular account in the Australian climate.
Retrieving a worker who is stuck in a safety harness as soon as possible is vital to reducing their risk of permanent injury or death. This is why it is extremely important to ensure that workers on site are trained and capable of rescuing those who may have fallen and remain trapped in a harness. Understanding the risk of Suspension Intolerance or Harness Hang Syndrome is necessary when site work needs to be performed at height.
In order to prevent the occurrence of suspension intolerance, the following should be noted:
While suspended in a harness after a fall, workers should do the following:
Any rescue training provided to workers should cover the following:
If you are looking for scaffolding hire or need knowledgeable and experienced scaffolders, who have hands-on experience in the industry who work together with you and offer expert advice, contact Skelscaff today on 1300 266 607 or contact us via our website.