Tag Archives: rescue

What To Do When There’s A Fall From Height Incident

Your ability to properly react to an accident where either you or someone else fell from a height can spell the difference between a falling accident that’s less serious and one that’s serious. Doing so can help you reduce significantly any consequences of such an accident, whether it’s psychological or physical. So what should you do when there’s a fall from height incident? Well, it depends on whether or not it’s you who fell or someone else.

If You’re The One Who Fell

If after falling you can sense that it’s still possible for you to get up on your own, you should first catch your breath and do a quick check of yourself for any injuries before attempting to get up. If you’re injured and you try to stand up without being aware of such an injury, you may just aggravate it. But if after checking you find that you’re injury free, then by all means get back up. Just take your time though and don’t be pressured to get back up as quickly as possible.

When getting up after falling from a height, you should proceed by first lying on your side. Then, bend your leg that’s on top before lifting yourself on your hands or elbows. When you’ve done that, look for a sturdy object such as an armchair then pull yourself – still positioned on your side – towards that object. As soon as you’re very near that sturdy object, get yourself to a kneeling position while putting your hands on that sturdy object. Put your dominant or stronger leg in front and gradually stand up while holding on the sturdy object for support. If it’s a sturdy chair or low-rise table, turn around gradually and sit down on it.

But what if you find yourself unable to stand up on your own? Stay down and call for help by shouting, using your radio or cellphone if you have one with you, gradually pull yourself to the nearest telephone if there’s one nearby, or make a lot of noise with whatever hard object you have in order to draw people’s attention.

If Someone Else Fell From A Height

While it’s very tempting to believe that the best way to help a person who fell from a height is to help them get back up quickly, it isn’t. The best way to proceed is to first check the person’s physical condition, e.g., is he conscious or not, or is he injured, and reassure him that you’re there to help him.

If the person who fell seems to be able to get right back up, help the person do so with great care. How? Bring a sturdy object such as a chair close to the person. Then, help him turn to his side and bend the leg on top and assist him into assuming a semi-seated posture. After that, put yourself behind him and hold him by the hips to help him assume a kneeling position.

Then, help him put both his hands on the sturdy object, put his stronger leg in front. Help him stand up as he holds on the sturdy object before turning him around to sit on it.

If the person isn’t able to get up, the best thing to do is administer first aid, help him take a comfortable position, keep him warm with a blanket or clothing item, and call immediately for help. Do not attempt to help him stand up if he’s injured and can’t get up.

Be Prepared All The Time

The chances of minimizing the impact of accidents involving falling from heights can be greatly reduced with awareness on proper handling of such, regardless if it happens to you or someone else. With quick, decisive, and proper action immediately after falling accidents, you can help yourself or other people limit injuries suffered and speed up the healing and recovery process. Knowledge therefore, is power.

Importance Of Having A Safety Plan For Your Company

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Safety is everyone’s concern  from the company’s owners all the way down to the lowest ranking employee. Every person has the right to stay safe and healthy in their workplaces, and with such rights, come obligations for the company and its owners to put into place – systems that’ll minimize workplace-related accidents and their potential impacts on both the workers and the enterprise.

Why A Safety Plan?

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin’s above-mentioned quote, if your company fails to plan for safety, then it’s practically planning for danger. Without a safety plan, several things can and will go wrong. With a safety plan, your company will become a much safer one. How?

First, the chances of minimizing injuries and preventing potentially fatal accidents are much higher when systems and facilities that ensure workers’ safety are in place. The best way to solve problems is by nipping them in the bud, i.e., just before they bloom into full-fledged issues or concerns. If I were to use a personal analogy, it’s easier to keep excess weight off than lose it later on.

The second way a safety plan makes your company a much safer plan is that, in the rare chances that accidents do happen, your company will be able to immediately contain its negative effects. Let’s take a look at the basic workplace practice of having a good number of fire extinguishers placed in key areas of the workplace or having a sprinkler system installed in case fires do break out as examples. Having such measures in place can quickly contain the fire so that injuries to workers and damages to property can be minimized.

When it comes to systems or practices, another basic but important workplace safety policy is to conduct regular fire or earthquake drills. Doing so ensures that your company’s workers won’t panic in case a fire breaks out or an earthquake happens, and can quickly and safely get out of the building. Without regular drills, your workers won’t be familiar with how to quickly and safely get out of the building during fires or after earthquakes and as such, panic may ensue and exacerbate the situation.

What Should It Cover?

More than just having a safety plan, your company must have one that works, i.e., covers the most important risks. And what are those risks?

One of them is working from heights. Falling from high working places is one of the most common reasons for workplace accidents – some of which are fatal. By having systems and facilities in place to minimize the risk of your workers falling to the ground and minimize the impacts of such when it happens, you can make your company -especially if it’s a construction one – a very safe place to work in.

Another major risk area to cover is working in confined spaces. As with working from heights, this also contributes a lot to the workplace or construction-related injuries and deaths. Because it can be very challenging to enter confined spaces to rescue someone who was accidentally injured, your company must have systems and equipment in place that will minimize confined space risks, and mitigate any damages and injuries that may arise when such risks materialize.

Planning For Safety

Make no mistake about it, having a safety plan for your company isn’t just one of the best investments it can ever make. It’s also a mandatory one. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure and if I may add, having a cure in hand always trumps not having one for when accidents happen. That’s why planning for your company’s safety is tantamount to making your company a safe place to work in.

Why Getting Trained In Confined Space Entry And Rescue Is Important

“There is no darkness like that of a confined space.” – Lauren De Stefano, Fever

When it comes to occupational safety, working in confined spaces is one of the riskiest activities workers can be involved in. Why? Before going into that, let’s first define what a confined space is.

What Is Confined Space?

It’s easy to think of a confined space as a place that’s merely closed such as a tunnel or a room. They’re not. Confined spaces aren’t about a particular place or space’s physical dimensions, but are determined by the hazards or risks that people working in such places face. As such, we can consider confined spaces as those that present foreseeable risks for:

  • Asphyxiation arising from free-flowing solid materials;
  • Drowning due to flooding;
  • Serious injuries that can arise from an explosion or fire; or
  • Workers losing consciousness due to significant increases in body temperature, or from asphyxiation due to lack of air and presence of vapors, fumes, and gasses.

Such places include but aren’t limited to:

  • Boreholes;
  • Building voids;
  • Culverts;
  • Ducts;
  • Hutches;
  • Inspection pits;
  • Manholes;
  • Sumps;
  • Tanks;
  • Tunnels

The Need For Training

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified work activities conducted in confined spaces as one of the major contributors to work-related deaths in the United States. To be more specific, this is due to most workers’ ignorance of confined spaces’ work-related risks and how to manage and address them when they happen. That’s why in countries like the United States, employers are compelled to give their employees adequate safety and risk management training to ensure their safety, especially when working in confined spaces.

When it comes to fatal confined space accidents, the 2 biggest factors are poor risk management and erroneous response to confined space emergencies. Often times, the latter makes things worse because instead of easing the situation, rescuers contribute to injuries or they themselves get into accidents in an attempt to rescue colleagues.

Training programs should emphasize risk management first (i.e. risk identification and mitigation). Prevention is truly better than a cure and in terms of preventing the likelihood of confined space accidents, training programs need to educate workers and management on the major risks involved with working in confined spaces. This is so that they’ll be in the best position to implement measures and install the necessary equipment or fixtures that can significantly reduce the possibility of identified potential accidents from happening.

Since risks can’t be totally eliminated. Training programs must also include “cures” or the ability to manage accidents, contain its effects, address injuries on the spot, and evacuate injured workers from the scene as quickly and safely as possible.

Get Trained!

If you or your company are involved in regular work activities in confined spaces, getting trained for entering and rescuing people in confined spaces is crucial because working in confined spaces is one of the top causes of workplace fatalities. The only way to win the war against confined space accidents and keep yourself and your people as safe as possible is to know your enemy – the risks involved – so that you can employ a 2-punch knockout system of risk minimization and effective risk containment via entry and rescue.