What is a rescue plan?

A rescue plan is an essential piece of documentation that must be completed before undertaking any work at heights.

This should detail:

  • the type of work being undertaken
  • the risks involved while performing the work
  • any hazards around the work area
  • what actions need to be implemented in the event of an incident or accident occurring.

Emergency service details need to be included, but their attendance should be considered as only a part of the overall rescue plan. Emergency services may take time to arrive at the scene and it is imperative that rescue procedures are commenced as soon as possible to enable the situation to be rectified and to ensure injuries are not exacerbated.

Assessment of the building, on site rescue equipment and available access to the area by rescuers and emergency services are all factors that must be considered and detailed in the plan.

Training of persons who will be conducting the rescue must also be undertaken to ensure that they are skilled in the use of the rescue equipment.

If the person being rescued sustains injuries which result in unconsciousness rescue may be even more difficult and additional procedures must be put in place to cover this contingency.

Persons sustaining a fall while using fall arrest equipment are in significant risk of Suspension Trauma and for this reason it is imperative that they are rescued as soon as possible to lessen the likelihood of this condition occurring.