<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=3990718177617800&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

1910.156 Fire Brigades Proposed Update!

Monday, March 18, 2024

On February 25, 2024, OSHA published a proposed update to the 1910.156 Fire Brigades Standard. OSHA is proposing through this notice of proposed rulemaking to issue a new safety and health standard, titled Emergency Response, to replace the existing 40-year-old Fire Brigades Standard. OSHA is requesting comments on all aspects of the proposed rule. The deadline to submit a comment is May 6, 2024. Those wishing to add a public comment to the proposed ruling may click here to be taken directly to the submission portal.


ChrisChris McGlynn 2024 McGlynn, CSP is a Certified Safety Professional and Nationally Registered Paramedic who serves as the Director of Safety and VPP Coordinator at Roco Rescue. He is also an active OSHA Special Government Employee within the Voluntary Protection Program and current President of the American Society of Safety Professionals Greater Baton Rouge Chapter. Chris also represents ASSP on the ANSI Z117 Confined Space and Z390 Hydrogen Sulfide Training Standard Development Committees.

Follow Chris LinkedinIcon

Additional Resources

Suspension Trauma: Roco Safety Poster

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Roco Trauma Safety Poster Rev_2023

“ANSI Z359 as well as OSHA 1926.502(d)(20) require employers to provide the prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall, or assure that employees are able to perform self-rescue.”

What is suspension trauma?

Suspension Trauma (also known as orthostatic intolerance) has been identified by OSHA as a workplace hazard for those using Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) who may be suspended from their harness for a period of time following a fall. More and more employers are becoming aware of this workplace hazard and are taking appropriate steps to protect their employees. 

The range of understanding on the cause of suspension trauma, as well as how to protect against it, is limited – and it has been revised over the years to include updated information as shown here. The development of suspension trauma varies from individual to individual and its onset can be difficult to predict. However, it is important to be aware of the Suspension Trauma  hazard and be prepared to take action as needed. Employers need to be aware that this syndrome is potentially life threatening.

Our revised Suspension Trauma Safety Poster is a tool to raise awareness of this potential hazard. It illustrates the pathological effects that a suspended worker may experience. We encourage you to share it with others who may work-at-height and/or use PFAS. Rescuers also need to be aware of this information and precautionary measures. Roco offers Rescue from Fall Protection training to educate rescuers who may respond to suspended workers.

Briefly, we will review the signs and symptoms of suspension trauma as well as factors that can influence the onset. We will also mention several options to prevent its occurrence as well as what precautions to take in treatment for suspension trauma. Suspended workers with head injuries or who are unconscious are particularly at risk (according to OSHA Bulletin 03-24-2004, updated 2011). As always, it is very important to follow your local treatment protocols.

What are signs and symptoms of suspension trauma?

Common signs and symptoms include light-headedness, heart palpitations, trembling, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache, sweating, weakness or fainting. Factors that influence the potential for suspension trauma as well as the speed of onset include the following:

  • Unconsciousness, fainting or immobility;
  • Underlying physical conditions including any pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions;
  • Worker’s ability to handle stress and anxiety;
  • Harness selection, fit, and adjustment;
  • Traumatic injuries that may have occurred during or before the fall; and,
  • Knowledge and the use of equipment or techniques to delay the onset of suspension trauma such as temporary leg stirrups or simply “bicycling the legs.”

What can be done to prevent suspension trauma?

  • Follow manufacturer guidelines on harness use and proper fit.
  • Preparation of a Fall Hazard Assessment, including a plan for self-rescue or assisted rescue as needed.
  • Leg movement or bicycling of the legs while suspended.
  • Use of a “step-up” device to relieve pressure. Example: MSA makes a device that attaches to the harness to help take pressure off the legs. (MSA Suspension Trauma Safety Step) 
  • Timely availability of a properly trained rescue service, such as an in-house team or a contracted rescue team prepared for suspended worker rescue.

What are the latest treatment opinions?

The following information is from “Evidence-Based Versus Myth-Based Treatment of Suspension Syndrome” by Roger B. Mortimer, MD and Ken Zafren, MD, published May 30, 2020.

For many years, the theory has been that a worker with the potential of suspension trauma should be placed in a certain position for a certain amount of time following rescue. The theory was that if a worker remained standing or sitting, the toxic blood would be introduced back into central blood flow, at a lower rate, minimizing risk of cardiac arrest – similar to a tourniquet being released too quickly on an extremity, so the right side of the heart would not be overloaded.

However, this theory hasn’t proven entirely true. According to the referenced article, the worker should not be treated any differently than any other patient that presents with signs and symptoms of shock. Simply put, if the patient is displaying “shock-like” symptoms, assess and manage the patient’s airway, breathing, and circulation. Place the patient in the supine position (flat on back), and rapidly transport to the nearest hospital with adequate services.

Notice: It is always important to follow local treatment protocols.

In summary

Suspension trauma is a hazard to be considered (and prepared for) by employers with workers using PFAS. A worker suspended from their fall protection harness must be treated and rescued in a very timely manner – or be prepared for self-rescue when viable. The use of a Fall Hazard Survey is highly recommended – as well as the preparation of a Rescue from Fall Protection Rescue Preplan (samples referenced below). Rescue personnel must also be trained, prepared and equipped for Rescue from Fall Protection operations.

Suspension Trauma Box REV

Additional Resources

New Roco Urban Rescue Harnesses

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Manufactured exclusively for Roco Rescue by CMC.

The new Roco Urban ATOM Rescue Harness is the perfect solution for the urban rescuer – designed for vertical and confined space rescue, or an occasional trip to the backcountry. Customized by Roco Rescue, this new full-body harness is based on the technologically advanced ATOM™ harness by CMC. It delivers on performance without compromising comfort and safety. 

harness_blog2 copyBuilt for long days on rope, the Roco Urban ATOM™ Rescue Harness offers full adjustability along with a modern ergonomic design. Dual-density padding with stitched rolled edges provides unparalleled comfort. Aluminum D-rings reduce overall weight, while small Cobra buckles at the chest and legs make for easy donning and doffing. Rigid gear loops and tool tethers provide unrivaled versatility. The high center of gravity gives rescuers a balanced ride.

The Roco Urban ATOM ASCENT Rescue Harness increases the rescuer’s vertical capabilities with the addition of a Climbing Technology chest ascender and chest ascender kit.

Key Features:

• Manufactured in the USA to North American Standards.

• UL Certified to relevant ANSI, CSA and NFPA standards as a Class III Life Safety Harness.

• Improved architecture molds to the user for a lightweight, low-profile fit.

• Ergonomic design for maximum comfort and support.

• Y-back construction and bridged front lift.

• Constructed with polyester webbing.

• Multiple accessory attachment points provide ample space for stowing and organizing hardware and tools.

• Gear loop over-braid is based on a 32-carrier polyester, rope sheath design that delivers a familiar texture and functional robustness.

Place Your Order Today!

Using Fall Hazard Surveys to Prevent Accidents

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Preparing for the Forgotten Hazard: Rescue from Fall Protection

Falls are one of the leading causes of accidents and fatalities across many industries. Whether it's in construction, manufacturing, or any other type of workplace, identifying and addressing fall hazards is essential to keeping workers safe. One of the most effective ways to do this is by conducting fall hazard analysis or completing a fall hazard survey.

A fall hazard survey involves a thorough and comprehensive inspection of the workplace to identify potential hazards that could result in falls. This includes examining equipment, tools, and materials, as well as evaluating the physical environment, such as the layout or configuration of the workspace and the condition of floors, stairs, walkways, and other working platforms. The survey should be conducted by someone with expertise in fall prevention, such as a safety professional, qualified person, or fall protection competent person.

Whether it's in construction, manufacturing, or any other type of workplace, identifying and addressing fall hazards is essential to keeping workers safe.

During the survey, the inspector should look for all potential fall hazards in and around the worksite. Inspectors should also assess the potential risk to workers, considering factors such as the height of the work area, the type of work being performed, and the likelihood of workers being exposed to the hazard. Some of the most common fall hazards may include:

  • Unprotected edges: Unprotected edges, such as open-sided floors, roofs, and platforms, can be dangerous fall hazards. Workers can accidentally step off these edges or be pushed off by equipment, materials, or other workers.
  • Ladders: Ladders are a common tool in many industries, but they can also pose a significant fall hazard. Falls from ladders can be caused by using the wrong type of ladder, overreaching, and unstable placement of the ladder.
  • Scaffolding: Scaffolding is used in construction, painting, and other industries to provide workers with access to elevated areas. However, if scaffolding is improperly erected or not used correctly, it can collapse or cause workers to fall.
  • Roofs: Workers who perform tasks on roofs, such as installing solar panels or conducting maintenance, are at risk of falling off the roof or through skylights or roof openings.
  • Elevated walkways: Elevated walkways, such as catwalks, bridges, and elevated work platforms, can also be dangerous fall hazards. These walkways can be slippery, and workers may fall through openings in the walkway.
  • Unguarded machinery: Workers who operate machinery at elevated heights may be at risk of falling into the machinery or off of it. Unguarded machinery can also pose a danger to workers on the ground below.

Being proactive will not only help you prevent falls, but can significantly decrease the time that it takes to perform a rescue in the event that one is needed.

Once the survey is complete, the inspector should document their findings in a report that includes photographs or diagrams of the workplace as well as detailed descriptions of each hazard. The report should also include recommendations for corrective action, such as implementing fall protection systems, modifying work practices, or providing additional training for workers. Another consideration to include in the report is any prior history of known accidents or incidents related to the specific work area or task.

Perhaps the most commonly overlooked component of a fall hazard survey is ensuring that a documented rescue preplan is created and reviewed before beginning work. The worst time to try to develop a rescue plan is after someone has fallen! Being proactive will not only help you prevent falls, but can significantly decrease the time that it takes to perform a rescue in the event that one is needed.

OSHA provides a free fall protection plan template that can serve as an outstanding baseline for developing or improving your current fall protection plan. Additionally, you can access our Fall Hazard Survey Template here and our Rescue from Fall Protection Preplan Template here.

Whatever route you choose to implement, conducting fall hazard surveys is an essential component of an effective fall prevention program. It enables employers to identify potential hazards and take steps to eliminate or control them before an accident occurs. And remember, there’s a safe way and a SAFER way!


Additional Resources


OSHA Announces National Emphasis Program to Prevent Falls

Friday, May 5, 2023

May 1, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls. This targeted program is based on historical data from both Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and OSHA enforcement activities.

According to the most recent data from BLS, 680 deaths were associated with falls from elevation in 2021. This accounts for nearly 13 percent of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in that year.    

osha logo_.svgAccording to the Assistant Secretary for OSHA, Doug Parker, “This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA's fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities...”

The scope of this National Emphasis Program (NEP) applies “OSHA-wide” where an OSHA compliance safety and health officer may open an inspection whenever they observe someone working at heights. If a compliance officer determines that an inspection is not necessary after entering a worksite and observing work activities, they will provide outreach on fall protection and leave the site.

Detailed information on this NEP may be found in Directive Number CPL 03-00-025 National Emphasis Program – Falls.

See our article for tips to help create a safer workplace for you and your co-workers.






Fall Safety Survey GraphicAdditional Resources


1 2 3 4 5

RescueTalk™ (RocoRescue.com) has been created as a free resource for sharing insightful information, news, views and commentary for our students and others who are interested in technical rope rescue. Therefore, we make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information and are not liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Users and readers are 100% responsible for their own actions in every situation. Information presented on this website in no way replaces proper training!