South Carolina workers who rely on their fall arrest personal protective equipment to keep them safe when they are working at great heights may be confident that their equipment will save them if they should fall. However, there still are some hazards that must be considered for the safety of employees.
An employee could be suspended for several minutes following a fall depending on where it occurred. During this time, he or she is at risk for suffering suspension trauma. Also known as orthostatic intolerance, an employee who is suspended can potentially lose consciousness, become dizzy, suffer weakness and may have venous pooling in his or her legs. Suspension trauma only takes a few minutes to set in and, in rare cases, can be fatal. As such, it is best for employers to have a rescue plan in place to get the employee down as soon as possible.
There are some other ways that suspension trauma can be prevented. Suspension trauma relief steps can be added to fall arrest equipment. After a fall, the relief steps can be deployed, allowing employees to stand up in the harness and flex their leg muscles. This prevents blood from pooling in the legs. Additionally, self-rescue harness systems enable employees to lower themselves to the ground without having to wait for help.
If an employee suffers an injury while on the clock, he or she may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits may cover medical costs and a portion of income that the employee could not earn due to the injury. If the employee’s benefits are denied, an employment law attorney may assist with refiling the claim or filing a lawsuit against the employer and insurance company responsible for providing the benefits. If possible, an attorney may work to settle the case before going to trial.