Working at Height Rescue Plans
There are many activities that involve working at height such as being on a roof, working in a cradle or cherry picker, on scaffolding or even cleaning windows. Working at height legislation requires you to do everything you reasonably can to prevent someone falling at all, but this may not always be feasible. Having accepted this risk, then you must still try to minimise the distance and consequence of that fall, but additionally plan how you get that person back to safety afterwards.
Working at Height Rescue Plan
This is known as your working at height rescue plan and the details of this need to be just as specific as the planning of the work to be undertaken in the first place. It is important that the rescue plan is suitable, sufficient and efficient, so those that need to be rescued can be quickly and safely recovered without putting anybody else at risk. Unfortunately we find that this is not always the case.
Working at Height Rescue
Emergency rescue situations may result from a number of different but foreseeable reasons. Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and cherry pickers are common in the workplace and may stop working or seize. A person may unexpectedly fall unconscious or simply become unwell whilst in an awkward location. Or a person may fall on a lanyard and become suspended in their harness; if a person is suspended even for a short period of time this can result in a life-threatening condition known as suspension trauma/intolerance.
When planning the process for undertaking rescues from height it might be useful to ask yourself the following questions:
- How will you know if someone is in need of rescue?
- How quickly can you get to them?
- How quickly can you get them to a safe place?
- What equipment and training do you need to make all this actually happen?
Working at Height Rescue Equipment & Systems
There are many different types of rescue systems, but ultimately you need to be confident that the working at height rescue equipment supplied is appropriate for how you intend to use it, some systems even allow for self-rescue provided the person is still conscious. You will need to ensure that your risk assessment considers what level of rescue is required.