Countless fall accidents have led to an increased awareness of the need for continuous and aggressive jobsite safety and strict health and safety standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As a result, many construction companies have become vigilant about putting fall prevention and protection plans in place; you can read about this in part one of our series.
However, the area where companies need improvement is the proper execution of their rescue plans. In this section, we will discuss what it means to rescue a worker “promptly” and the dangers of remaining suspended too long. Our experienced OSHA defense lawyers are aware of employers’ efforts to increase safety. Their diligence has saved many workers from an untimely death.
Rescuing Workers is a Vital Part of a Fall Prevention Plan
Rescue plans are mandated by OSHA and can be found in standard 1926.502(d)20 and 1910.140(c)21. The purpose of the company rescue plan is to ensure that a rescue attempt is conducted in the safest manner possible and to minimize a worker’s risks during a fall while they are elevated and suspended in a harness. The plan should be formulated in advance and should also entail self-rescue and a mechanically-aided rescue.
Rescue Must Be Prompt
Promptness is an essential part of the rescue plan according to OSHA standards. However, “prompt” is not necessarily defined by numbers.To gauge promptness, one must understand the effect of a worker’s prolonged suspension while in a harness. According to research, being suspended for long periods of time could ultimately lead to a worker succumbing to unconsciousness and even death. This could indeed conclude that a company’s rescue plan is not very effective. To learn more about suspension trauma, visit OSHA’s website.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.