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Rescue from heights – don’t place rescuers at risk

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article image Rescue pole head showing open hook.

FOR those who work from heights, safe recovery of a suspended fellow worker is crucial. Rescue plans should include procedures that do not place the rescuers at risk.

According to Clive Marple, Beaver Sales’ National Height Safety Manager, the traditional method of a rescue from heights, without the aid of plant and machinery, includes a rope rescue squad, where a group of people is highly trained in abseiling techniques and equipment.

“This method features a system for a team to abseil down to a suspended worker, hook up to them, and then cut away the equipment holding the suspended person and abseil to the ground together,” he said.

“This system of rescue does requires a large amount of specialist equipment, specialised and constant training and puts additional people at risk.”

Beaver Sales’ height safety team has developed a method of rescuing a suspended person without adding further risk to the rescuers and without the need for lots of equipment and training.

Clive Marple designed the “no risk rescue” system after many years of training people to abseil down to recover a fallen person.

The safety system incorporates an automatic descender from renowned manufacturers Ikar Gmbh, which raises a suspended person to remove the load on the equipment so it can be detached (loaded equipment is difficult to remove from attachment points) then it can automatically lower the person to the ground at a set descent speed.

Clive Marple’s new BFMRGH Automatic Rescue Descender can raise a person either back to a safe location, or once the attachment equipment is removed, it can lower the person to the ground automatically.

“The BFMRGH descender now provides users of height safety equipment with a simple method of a rescue recovery plan, without the need for specialised abseiling equipment and training,” said Mr Marple.

For example, Clive Marple says that if a fallen person hangs suspended from the side of the building on the 8th floor, the Beaver Sales’ rescue system entails the following:

* A designated trained person takes the rescue kit to a higher level and finds a suitable attachment point

* Once the descender is anchored, the hook is lowered to the suspended person

* The person hooks up to the unit by connecting to the front rescue loops on the harness

* The rescuer winds the rewind handle on the BFMRGH unit to raise the suspended person so that the load comes from the shock absorbing lanyard and it can be unhooked

* Once unhooked, the rescuer checks that it is all clear below and, if required, assistance is available to receive the suspended person, then he/she releases the brake mechanism on the BFMRGH unit and the suspended person automatically descends to the ground.

In addition to this, Beaver Sales has developed a method of attaching the descender hook to the suspended person if they are unconscious, either from the fall or from being suspended.

This method involves a rescue pole that holds the double action hook open, so the rescuer can reach the suspended person’s rear attachment D, place the hook around the D ring, then pull the pole away that automatically closes the hook onto the suspended person.

Once attached to the rescue descender, the person can be raised to remove the fall arrest equipment, and automatically lowered to the ground.

“This method of rescue provides a quick and easy method of recovering a fallen person without the need for a large amount of specialised equipment, regular training and placing further people at risk. The BFMRGH Automatic Rescue Descender can help save a work mate, speedily and safely,” added Mr Marple.

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