Since our business is providing fall protection to individuals working at heights, we find it important to continue to inform our clients of dangers they may experience on the job. As explained in our mission statement, we exist to save lives and we desire to help maintain a safe work environment for all our clients. During safety planning for your site you had determined there was a fall hazard that needed a fall arrest system in place. This is great to maintain safety while your team members complete their work. This post will focus on the dangers of suspension trauma and how we have designed a product that will save lives.
What is suspension trauma?
Once a fall arrest system is in place it is imperative that safety managers take Rescue into consideration as well. Unfortunately, there are times when team members fall while connected to a fall arrest system. Here is when things get tricky. The fall arrest system performed its job by protecting the worker from landing on the pavement. However, once the harness catches the worker Suspension Trauma can take place.
This condition is known by two other names, Orthostatic Intolerance or Harness Hang Syndrome. When induced the individual will experience a loss of consciousness due to being in an upright position with very limited movement. To be even more specific blood pools in the victim’s legs and does not allow for sufficient oxygen to be sent to their brain. This is caused by the harness cutting off normal circulation in a vertical position. Individuals can experience diminished blood flow, a blocked airway, cardiac arrest, or brain damage. Death can occur in as little as 10 minutes for the victim. Since the 1970s nearly 100 people have died due to suspension trauma.
As stated above having a rescue plan is key to the safety protocols at your facility. The use of suspension relief equipment can significantly increase your time window for rescue. At HySafe we have designed a product that prevents the effects of this accident and can save countless lives. Attached to the individual’s harness, our lightweight Suspension Relief Ladder pack is easily reachable. When manually deployed the web ladder can be used to prevent the suspension trauma while the victim waits for rescue. Once manually deployed by the user, they step onto the web rungs of the ladder and lean back to relieve any pressure on their legs. After being rescued the ladder can be repacked in the Velcro closure for reuse!
A rescue procedure is an important part of your fall protection plan. Rescues should take no longer than 15 minutes. Our Suspension Relief Ladder system is completely independent of the individual’s harness. Its unique lightweight design makes it the perfect product addition to your fall protection equipment! Call us today to purchase yours or go to our rescue page for other devices!