Rescue training: In the event of a fall, do you have a plan?

August 4, 2017

You’ve chosen the right safety harness, completed the proper training, and you have a fall protection plan in place. But what happens after the fall? Do you have a rescue plan in place to promptly retrieve a worker who has become suspended in their system?

Why a rescue plan is important

What many people often fail to recognize is that fall protection also includes descent and rescue. When a worker falls and is suspended in their harness, oftentimes calling 911 won’t result in the most time-efficient rescue.

The reality is that rescue services are often a secondary aspect for most fire departments. When a fire department arrives at the scene for a rescue, they will need to spend time assessing the site and its hazards, which can result in precious time passing before the rescue actually takes place.

This is why it is beneficial to have a rescue plan in place and to have workers trained on the proper use of on-site rescue equipment in order to conduct their own timely rescues.

Rescue doesn’t need to be complicated

Any job site with workers at height, including at construction, utilities and industrial sites, are required to have a rescue plan in place. This also includes workers who use a bucket truck, aerial work platform or construction crane.

As recent as a decade ago, a rescue plan could be very complicated, involving a series of ropes and knots that required a higher level of knowledge and skill to execute the rescue. Now, pre-packaged mechanical rescue kits, including the 3M™  DBI-SALA® Rollgliss™ R550 Product Line, make it more streamlined for at-height workers to train for, and execute, rescues. These rescue kits can be used in a variety of situations and scenarios and with the proper training, are ideal for incorporating in your company’s rescue plan.

Descent and rescue training and solutions

3M’s Fall Protection Group offers an eight-hour course called High Angle Technical Rescue I. This practical course trains workers to use these pre-packaged mechanical rescue kits as well as covers considerations for rescue planning, rescue techniques and post-rescue protocols.

One of the main benefits of this course is that it trains workers on essential rescue equipment, for example, the 3M™ DBI-Sala® Rollgliss™ R550 Rescue and Descent Device, so workers can bring back the knowledge they’ve gained to their work sites in order to safely plan and execute their own rescues.

For more information on rescue training courses for workers and trainers, please visit


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