Tips on the proper care and use of a fall protection harness

Discussion in 'Safety - General Safety Issues' started by Wireless Estimator, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. Wireless Estimator

    Wireless Estimator Administrator Staff Member

    According to a rescued tower tech’s employer, of an incident that occurred on April 10, 2014, a North Carolina worker did not fall, but slipped in his harness while performing maintenance on a Sprint site and was unable to pull himself up.

    Instead of a condescending “There’s no way I would have ever let my guys..”-type useless post, it would be helpful if forum participants could add valuable comments regarding the proper use and care of a fall protection harness.

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    A number of trainers and safety professionals, and those who observe excellent safety practices while on a tower, are steady visitors to this forum and they could offer some valuable tips which could prevent this from happening and possibly save someone’s life.

    This incident is a real life tailgate session in the making if you contribute your expertise and desire to make the industry safer through education.

    For training companies that can assist you with your company's safety initiatives, you're just one click away.
  2. Dave Swainger

    Dave Swainger Industry Observer

    Suspension trauma could have killed him after hanging like that for an hour. I’ve always been told that once rescued you should sit up for 15 to 20 minutes to get your blood flowing properly. It looks like the firefighters let him climb down partway and then lowered him down the rest possibly causing his blood to not reflow properly. Then they had him lie flat which I’ve been told you should never do because that could also cause brain damage or death. Firefighters are trained in suspension trauma just like climbers are trained in proper safety but they don’t always practice it wisely. Or am I wrong regarding his immediate treatment?
  3. KLB Welding

    KLB Welding Industry Observer

    I think you're right Dave. Seems I learned that as well in training, something about the blood rushing back to your brain when you lay down or something but I'm no 100 percent sure. If he slipped out of his harness I'd say it was not adjusted properly. Perhaps people being more aware of proper adjustment and pointing it out before people start to climb in the mornings when everybody is gearing up. Kind of like the equipment checks they would do in say the Airborne before they bail out of a plane. Seems some guys prefer them more on the loose side as it is uncomfortable, maybe what this guy was thinking.
  4. Wireless Estimator

    Wireless Estimator Administrator Staff Member



    Excellent point. Many thousands of jumps are made every week, but it’s rare – if ever – that you hear of a paratrooper falling to his death because his equipment failed.

    There are safety parallels with airborne training.

    When soldiers are ready to jump, they all stand in the aircraft with their static line lanyard hooked off to a cable. They’re given a command to check gear and each man will ensure that his fellow soldier’s lanyard is secured to the cable and will not be able to become entangled around their packed parachute as they exit.

    The difference with this lanyard is that when the paratrooper jumps it is meant to pull his canopy out and then break off and remain in the aircraft.

    The similarity is both tower technicians and parachutists will be able to return to the ground safely if they observe their training and properly inspect and use their equipment.

    It doesn't matter if you’re jumping out of a C-130 or climbing a Rohn 90, you won’t make a fatal climb or jump if you adhere to the safety practices you've been trained to follow.
  5. Marc LeClair

    Marc LeClair Frequent Poster

    OSHA says that suspension in a fall-arrest device can result in unconsciousness, followed by death, in less than 30 minutes.
  6. SHANE

    SHANE First Time Poster

    The whole problem with this situation is the idiots that hung the radio heads 6' under the platform. There is a platform for a reason. Use your heads people! Think about how components are going to be serviced and replaced. So essentially because of the placement of the radios they have become a ladder.Probably not the recommended use Makes a ton of sense.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

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