Why are rescue kits so important?
So, you’ve invested in the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your workers and it is being regularly tested and inspected, so that’s everything covered, right?
Almost, but not quite. It is important to remember that anyone who works at height runs the risk of a fall that may require them to be rescued.If the casualty is suspended in their harness for even a relatively short period of time they may suffer from a condition known as Suspension Trauma, which could lead to permanent injury, or even a fatality.
According to the Health & Safety Executive: “The law requires that when you work at height, you should also plan for emergencies and rescue. These arrangements should not rely on the Emergency Services, as this may result in a delay, which may be critical.”
No longer can the emergency services be expected to carry out a rescue from a person at height, The responsibility lies with the building owner, facility management company or the company carrying out the work. To ensure that an effective rescue plan is in place this involves having the appropriate rescue kit.
There is a legal obligation to have a full and comprehensive Rescue Plan in place when individuals are working at height. The ‘Work at Height Regulations 2005’ require employers to make provision for emergency planning. As stated in Organisation and Planning Regulation 4:
- Every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned.
- Planning of work includes planning for emergencies and rescue.
- The first step is to ensure all workers at height are trained and are provided with the appropriate PPE and rescue kit for the application.
Here at Eurosafe, we offer two solutions; the IKAR Rescue Kit and Latchways’ Personal Rescue Device (PRD). The IKAR Rescue Kit is a versatile option that includes a single person (rated to140kg) controlled descent device with a lifting facility, complete with a 1m sling, karabiner and reach pole. Extra components can be added to the kit to suit the application.
Another very popular and highly effective rescue kit is Latchways’ Personal Rescue Device (PRD). This is designed to arrest a fall and limit the forces applied to the worker and to the connecting anchor device. This PRD provides a means of self rescue for the user, allowing for a controlled descent to a safe location following a fall. The Latchways PRD can be used in any location where a certified anchor device is available at a maximum height of 20 metres.
Employers are recognising the need to take a responsible approach to ensuring the welfare of employees and contractors. Fall protection equipment is designed to restrain or arrest a fall, but what happens next could be fatal if an individual and their colleagues are not trained and provided with an appropriate rescue kit. In addition, all work at height staff should receive the appropriate application and rescue training to ensure that any risks are being kept to a minimum.