Whenever there are risks from working at height, appropriate emergency procedures and facilities, including first aid, must be established and provided.
Typical injuries from falls can include unconsciousness and occluded airway, impalement, serious head or abdominal injuries and fractures.
A person using a fall-arrest system could suffer suspension intolerance as a result of a fall. The WHS Regulations contain a specific provision to address the need for emergency and rescue procedures for such situations.
A person conducting a business or undertaking who implements a fall-arrest system as a measure to control risk must establish emergency and rescue procedures.
The procedures must be tested so that they are effective. Workers must be provided with suitable and adequate information, instruction and training in relation to the emergency procedures.
In developing emergency procedures, the different types of emergency and rescue scenarios that might arise should be considered. Information from the risk assessment will help in this task.
You must ensure that workers have access to first aid equipment and facilities for the administration of first aid.
You must also ensure that workers are trained to administer first aid or that workers have access to persons who are trained in first aid.
The emergency procedures for falls may be incorporated into the emergency plan required or the workplace under the WHS Regulations.
When establishing emergency procedures, you should take into account the following considerations.
Location of the work area:
Capabilities of Rescuers:
Local emergency services— if they are to be relied on for rescue:
Suspension intolerance can occur with a fall-arrest system when a person has an arrested fall and is suspended in an upright, vertical position with the harness straps causing pressure on the leg veins.
The lower legs’ capacity to store large amounts of blood reduces the return of blood to the heart, slowing the heart rate, which can cause the person to faint.
This may lead to renal failure and eventually death, depending on a person’s susceptibility. This condition may be worsened by heat and dehydration.
The quick rescue of a person suspended in a full-body harness, as soon as is possible, is vital.
For this reason, workers should be capable of conducting a rescue of a fallen worker and be familiar with onsite rescue equipment and procedures.
Workers and emergency response workers must be trained in the rescue procedures and be able to recognise the risks of suspension intolerance and act quickly in the rescue of a person.
To prevent suspension intolerance occurring as a result of an arrested fall, you should ensure that:
Workers are trained to do the following when they are hanging in their harness after a fall:
The training for rescuing workers who have fallen should address the following factors:
If you are looking for knowledgeable and experienced scaffolders, who have leading-hands that work together with you and offer expert advice, please contact us at Skelscaff today on 1300 266 607 or contact us via our website.