The Need for a Rescue Plan
Rescue planning is essential as when a worker becomes injured or incapacitated at height, evacuating them to a safe area can present many difficulties. In these situations, many companies still think they can rely on the emergency services to do this, without realising that the emergency services are no longer obliged to retrieve a person from a fall arrest scenario.
Therefore, this means that any organisation, big or small, has a “duty of care” to have a rescue/evacuation plan in place for anyone working at height.
The HSE have set out the following guidelines for Rescues from Height:
- When contemplating working at height, and in particular when considering the use of a fall arrest system, employers need to consider any emergency or rescue procedures that may be required and the drawing up of an emergency and rescue plan.
- It is not acceptable just to rely on the emergency services. Emergency procedures need to be considered for reasonably foreseeable circumstances. The measures need to be covered in the risk assessment and planned prior to the work activity being carried out.
- The key is to get the person down safely in the shortest possible time and before the emergency service response. If employers cannot do this, then harness work is not the correct system of work.
There are many variables to consider when planning rescues and can vary from site to site and can be complex in their nature.
Taskmasters offer a full range of rescue planning services including a consultancy service, where one of our surveyors will attend the site and complete a full report on the requirements of all workers working at height. We will also provide a comprehensive rescue plan.