Although the American workplace has progressed dramatically in terms of providing safeguards against fatal falls, the fact of the matter is that falls from height still occur on a daily basis, some more adequately protected than others. A well-planned fall protection program includes provisions for prompt rescue.
This paper will explore post-fall rescue team development and rescue/retrieval systems appropriate for use in the workplace. Case studies of rescue in industrial facilities, utilities service providers, construction, and other workplace environments will be used to provide a basis for discussion.
Guidelines will be discussed for evaluating the urgency of a response, exploring the use of various "entry" and "non-entry" retrieval methods, discussing anchorage considerations, and insights will be gained into how to maintain effective team-capability with minimal impact to resources and cost, all with an eye toward both safetyandcompliance.
Sticking one's proverbial head in the sand is not adequate protection when it comes to rescue after a fall. Although OSHA has clearly stated that it will not issue a citation to an employer for any spontaneous rescue activity, this does not relieve the employer from the obligation to prepare for rescue in the event of a fall.