The School For Mountain Leadership

The School For Mountain Leadership

Basic scaffold rescue for construction workers

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Our guiding section:
The Mountain Guide
Activity   Industrial / Construction Site Rescue
Description  The primary objective of this course is to get workers to the point where they are able to get to an injured (or uninjured) worker, connect him to a simple lowering system, disconnect his fall-arrest harness from the structure and lower him safely to the ground, doing all of this safely and efficiently.

Scaffolds are temporary structures. They are not designed with rescue in mind and very often they are as high as the buildings surrounding them, Pick-off rescue in a fall-arrest contextif not higher.

Often workers on scaffold will be working several stories off the ground, sometimes as high as 50m, with a fall-arrest harness to protect them from a fatal fall.While the harness protects the worker from falling to the ground it doesn't protect them from injuries sustained by striking the scaffold or other structures during their fall. This give rise to another problem - releasing the worker from the hanging position and getting him onto the ground.

You could simply call the emergency services and make it their problem. Unfortunately there is a condition called Suspension Trauma or Harness Hang Syndrome that can kill a person hanging immobile in a harness (especially an injured one) in as little as 20 minutes. If the emergency services take 10 minutes to arrive it means they will have 10 minutes to assess the problem, kit up, climb up the scaffold and execute the rescue before the risk of Suspension Trauma becomes dramatically increased. Unless you're working in a city with an extremely well trained, well equipped and efficient rescue service the chances of the rescue happening in under 20 minutes are almost none.

The construction industry has realised that this is not a desirable situation and has sought out a solution, which we are now able to provide. We have developed a course specifically aimed at South African construction workers who work at height on scaffold and who may be required to rescue their colleagues after a fall, where the rescue is a simple matter of disconnecting the worker from the scaffold and getting him to the ground safely (a top-down rescue). This course doesn't make rescue workers of them but teaches them exactly what they need to know to execute a quick, efficient, safe and simple basic rescue using a well though out systematic approach. Since a large proportion of construction workers have not completed their high-school schooling we do not teach rescue theory - only practical hands-on systems, making the training more accessible to the people who are most likely to need it.

Topics covered include:
  • Equipment used for rescue in scaffold work
  • Setting up safe anchors for the rescue in minimal time
  • Abseiling to reach an injured person
  • Pick-off / snatch rescue of a person hanging in harness
  • Simple lowering of an injured person
  • Using guidelines to pass obstacles.

The course runs over 3 working days, ensuring that workers who complete the course don't only know what to do but have practised the systems repeatedly, improving their ability to remember what to do even 8 or 10 months after they have completed the course.

Training is conducted at a site selected by the client. This means that only the instructor and training equipment need to be moved around and not the entire learner group. All that is required is a scaffold of at least 3 stories (approx 12+ metres hgh) in a setting that is condusive to training (no excessive noise, no hazardous chemicals, etc). If this is not feasible then we can conduct this training at a site in Waltloo, Pretoria

The language of instruction is english and the minimum group size is 6 learners with a maximum of 10 on any one course. We will provide all rescue equipment for the duration of the course.

As post-course support we offer a one-day refresher once a year for workers who have completed this course, helping them maintain the skills developed om the course. We can also recommend a kit list of the equipment required to ensure that a site is properly equipped to perform the rescue.

Type   Full time Course
Cost  R 18,000.00 Per group of 10

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