What to consider when performing height rescue on a scaffold


What to consider when performing height rescue on a scaffold

Collective protective equipment (CPE) and personal protective equipment (PPE) go a long way to reducing the risk of falls from the scaffold. To ensure that you are always safe when working on and with scaffolding, you must, of course, also follow the usual safety rules.

Despite all accident prevention measures and the correct use of safety equipment, falls from scaffolding can still occur. Even if you and your colleagues are protected by PPE, you need to act quickly. Find out what to do in the event of a fall from the scaffold here.

Your colleague has fallen from the scaffold - what should you do?

If CPE cannot be installed on the scaffold, wearing PPE is mandatory - because it can literally be lifesaving. So, if your colleague falls from the scaffolding, the PPE will arrest the fall. But what happens then? If your colleague cannot pull himself back onto the scaffold or descend safely, help is needed. Your procedure may be as follows:

1. It is all about good preparation: follow the working at height rescue plan

If you’re lucky, a fall from the scaffold only happens once in a blue moon, or at best not at all. However, it is still very important for you and your colleagues to be prepared for such an emergency situation at all times.

This is where the working at height rescue plan comes in. It has been individually defined for your workplace and outlines the procedures to be followed in a rescue situation. This also included the specification of the rescue equipment to be used and its anchor points. Regular training in emergency procedures also helps you, to taking the right action in the event of a fall from the scaffold.

2. Fully assess the situation before taking rescue action

Before you act hastily and possibly put yourself in danger, you should first assess the situation. Ask yourself some questions: Is it safe for everyone involved to attempt the rescue on your own? Are there any colleagues present who are trained in height rescue? Only if you have received appropriate height rescue training and have immediate access to certified height rescue equipment should you attempt the rescue yourself. If this is not the case, you must immediately call for help. Under no circumstances should you put yourself at risk of falling from the scaffold during a rescue attempt.

3. Proceed the height rescue carefully but quickly

If you are able to carry out the height rescue yourself, you’ll want to waste as little time as possible. Even if your colleague’s fall from the scaffold has been arrested by PPE and they are alert and unharmed, they should be returned to safe ground as soon as possible. Because, if the PPE ropes cut off the blood flow in the leg arteries, life-threatening suspension trauma can occur.

Especially if your colleague has been hanging in the PPE for 20 minutes or more, trained first aiders are needed to deal with possible health complications. You’re thinking about becoming a first aider? Click here for more information on first aid training.

4. You are not trained in height rescue? You can still help!

If you cannot perform the rescue from the scaffold on your own, you can still take action until help arrives. Provided your colleague is conscious, instruct him to move his legs or, better still, to push against a resistance, such as a wall, to help the blood circulation.

In such emergencies, preventive aids that you can carry with you on your PPE will also pay off. This can be, for example, a length-adjustable support rope with loops for the feet to help the blood flow in your legs.

To make your work on scaffolding as safe as possible, Scafom-rux offers regular rescue at height and safety training courses. Simply contact our team!

For more insights into scaffolding safety, take a look at our scaffolding blog articles.


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