Regardless of your profession, if you work with rope, Sterling provides the best hardware and safety rope for your needs. We’ve posted about the fine products made by Sterling Rope in the past. They’re the leading manufacturer of rope, sewn cord, and climbing hardware. They do it all right here in the USA. Their HTP Static is the most durable and best performing static rope available. The 12mm Dyneema slings are super lightweight, and unbelievably light. And the pocket hauler is a complete mechanical advantage system that you can literally put in your pocket. Be sure to check out our video playlist with all our Sterling Rope videos.
Now, you have all that rope, what are you carrying it in? Lucky you, our new Rescue Rope Bag just came out. It’s very durable, and can haul around a ton. It has a gusseted bottom for moisture resistance, and a protective flap on the top to keep weather out. A document pocket in the front lets you show what’s in it, or what crew it belongs to. Carry it using the comfortable backpack straps or the side carry handle. And you know it’s a GME Authentic with its sharp Climb Higher graphics.
Also popular is our Premium Equipment Backpack. There’s literally nothing else like it. It has a padded back area, a durable, double stitched plastic bottom with drain holes, and accessory loops on the front to hold your extra gear. It’s also stamped with the exclusive Climb Higher logo.
New from WestFall Pro is the 60601 Rope Grab Assembly. It pairs their best-selling 5/8” rope grab with a 3 foot lanyard. Unlike other rope grab/lanyard combos, this uses a lanyard with snap hooks on each end. If your lanyard is permanently attached to the rope grab, to move the grab post a tangled line or guy wire, you have to completely remove the rope grab from the lifeline or reach back to your back D-ring to remove the lanyard. This way you can maneuver without the hassle.
WestFall Professional’s gear is designed to meet and exceed the most stringent of industry standards. Their Ascend Tower Harness, for instance, stands toe-to-toe with some of the most popular harnesses on the market, at a fraction of the price. What if I told you, you can get a tricked out, aluminum harness for the cost of a basic steel belt from other brands? Is that something you might be interested in?
Beyond their harnesses, they bring a nice selection of hardware to the safety table. They have carabiners in many shapes and styles, all ANSI rated of course. Oh, you need a spreader bar or positioning kit to go on your shiny new Ascend? Westfall can save you some cash on that as well. But don’t worry… it’s just as functional and safe as others on the market.
Ever heard of Weld-Lok Technology? WestFall Pro uses it to make their capstan mount even stronger than standard straight mounts. This puppy is designed and made in the USA and it’s load rated at 1,000 lbs.
Miller Fall Protection has been in the at-height solutions game for over 65 years. They provide harnesses, anchorage, ladder climbing systems, confined space and rescue devices, fall protection training, and engineered solutions to keep workers safe.
Their AirCore line of harnesses are designed to keep you cool and comfortable. They take all of the bulky, stuffy padding that many harnesses use and throw it out. Miller believes that comfort comes from being lightweight, and breathable. Because they have reduced padding, the harnesses bring the airflow to reduce heat and moisture. The Tower Climbing Harness has quick connect chest and leg straps and a removable tongue-buckle belt. Check out our video above to see more.
The Manyard series of shock-absorbing lanyards are also popular. They have version which have internal shock absorbers, as well as SofStop Shock Absorbers. They’re available in a variety of connection types, choose from snap hooks and carabiners to rebar hooks in steel and aluminum. They’re also available in both single and twin leg styles.
Ideally, falls don’t happen. But in the event that one does, let’s hope the worker was wearing and using proper fall protection. And let’s also hope that the crew they were working with has been trained to properly rescue a suspended worker.
If you’re using fall protection, but aren’t properly trained for rescue, and don’t have a rescue plan, you’re only doing half of the job. They’re equally important! And a rescue plan can’t just be call 9-1-1. Often times Fire and EMS workers are not trained for situations that a suspended worker can be in. Or, the station may not even be close enough to safely get the worker down in time. In a rescue, seconds can make a difference.
Yeah, yeah… we’ve touched on suspension trauma in the past, but it’s a big deal, so we’re doing it again. Suspension trauma can cause potentially serious health issues in as little as 12 to 15 minutes. Blood pools in the legs when hanging in a harness. This can deprive the brain, kidneys, and other organs of oxygen. It’s important to monitor a suspended worker for faintness, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, unusually low heart rate or blood pressure, paleness, or greying or loss of vision. These are all symptoms that they may be in serious danger. Trauma straps are simple, lightweight, and can prevent a lot of the problems from hanging in suspension.
As for the rescue itself… no two rescues are alike. Take a moment and assess the situation. Can the worker be reached by a bucket, or ladder truck? Is the person conscious or unconscious? How’s the worker suspended? Is there something below the person to lower them to or do they have to come all the way to the ground? Once it’s all decided, the rescue should be performed in the fastest possible way, that doesn’t put the rescue crew in more danger.
Once the worker is safely on the ground, some authorities actually advise against moving the rescued worker to a horizontal position too quickly. There is a potentially large amount of oxygenated blood in the workers legs, and if that rushes back to the heart too quickly, it could cause cardiac arrest.
Most importantly… practice saves lives. Every crew should review and go through the physical motions of a rescue frequently. This can help identify what does and doesn’t work, and how it feels to do the actual maneuvers required. Be sure you’re familiar with all of your rescue gear, and how to operate it. If you have any questions, or need to fill out your rescue kit, give us a call and we can make sure you have what you need.