Q & A: High Angle Rescues
Working at high angles is inherently tricky. Things can become even more challenging if an employee experiences a medical emergency or accident. CTEH is answering some of the most FAQs about high angle rescues and explaining how high-quality, hands-on training can help reduce potentially dangerous incidents:
What is a high angle rescue?
High angle rescues occur when an individual is pulled or lifted from a location at a slope of 60 degrees or higher by ropes, pulleys or harnesses. Often, an on-site system is created to raise or lower the impacted individual to safer, more stable ground. This type of rescue may take place in industrial settings such as silos, vessels, mills and farms or in professions that require elevated platforms or workstations.
What considerations must be made before performing a rescue?
Rescue teams must first determine whether their actions could potentially cause additional harm to the affected individual. For example, is the person in a stable enough position for extraction? Or, has he or she sustained a spinal cord or other life-threatening injury that could impact the next steps? Employees should always be trained in the proper procedures and techniques before being asked to perform a high angle rescue.
What other steps should businesses take?
First, businesses should ask themselves, “Are my employees required to work from elevated surfaces or high angles?” If the answer is yes, a workplace safety assessment should be conducted to establish a thorough rescue plan. Employees should then undergo a comprehensive training program. This will help them learn to quickly evaluate hazards, address potential concerns and safely execute the needed rescue process.