New video for tower workers: Suspension trauma

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Photo: NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association

Watertown, SD — Proper rescue planning for suspension trauma incidents at tower sites is the focus of a new video from NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association.

Suspension trauma, also known as orthostatic intolerance, can occur when a tower worker falls and remains suspended in a harness after his or her fall arrest system activates. The body may go into shock as a result of a disruption in blood flow, which may lead to unconsciousness and even death. Warning signs of suspension trauma are related to those associated with shock: pale complexion, feeling faint, sweating, leg numbness, nausea, dizziness and confusion.

Acting quickly is critical. If a climber notices signs of suspension trauma in a fellow climber and the worker is conscious, longtime rescue trainer Brian Horner advises getting the climber to move his or her legs to keep blood flowing. Ask the individual how he or she is doing, put the suspended climber in a horizontal position, and begin to safely lower him or her to the ground, seeking help from additional climbers if necessary.

If the individual is unconscious, however, “that’s where everything changes,” Horner said. “Everything now has got to be expedited, whether it be an airway, whether it be extrication, whether it be lowering. In fact, this guy now is a cardiac patient. The best treatment for this worker is down there,” Horner added, pointing to the ground.

Once a climber suffering from suspension trauma is lowered to the ground, employers or workers should call 911 and lay the individual flat to stabilize him or her. Then, if the climber is unconscious, place the patient on his or her left side to reduce vomiting, and wait for help to arrive.

Horner encourages industry workers and employers to view the video and “proactively pursue” additional training, education and research related to suspension trauma.

The video is the most recent installment in NATE’s Climber Connection series, which promotes safe work practices for communication tower workers. The association asks climbers and other industry stakeholders to use the hashtag #ClimberConnection when posting the video on social media platforms.


National Preparedness Month 2020: Make Your Plan Today

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and now is a good time to prepare for a natural disaster or emergency in the workplace.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds workers and employers to make a plan, so you know where to go and what to do to stay safe in an emergency. Here are a few things you can do to prepare:

  1. Develop a plan and understand how to put it into action. Employers should develop emergency plans and ensure workers know how to execute them. Plans should describe shelter locations, policies to ensure all personnel are accounted for, procedures for addressing hazardous materials in the workplace, and maps that designate specific evacuation routes and exits. OSHA’s Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool is a helpful resource to use.
  2. Build an emergency kit. Put together an emergency kit with the supplies and personal protective equipment you might need during an emergency. Include items like safety glasses or face shields for eye protection, cell phones with chargers, flashlights, and first aid kits.
  3. Shelter in place. Follow local emergency official announcements related to sheltering in place. In certain situations, you may need to take immediate shelter whether you are working from home, at the job site, or in between. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to “shelter in place.”
  4. Evacuate. Be aware if local emergency officials call for a mandatory evacuation of your area. Employers should examine how to safely shut down a facility if an evacuation is warranted. Don’t wait until too late. Due to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that if you need to seek public shelter to bring at least two cloth face coverings for each person and hand sanitizer.
  5. Know what may impact your area and how you should respond. Stay aware of weather forecasts and warnings, and follow instructions issued by your local officials. Check the websites of your local National Weather Service and emergency management office. Employers should consider how an emergency might impact workers sheltering in place at a job site versus workers attempting to evacuate to safety. If local authorities or the on-site coordinators tell you to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately.

OSHA provides resources on workplace preparedness and response for a variety of hazards. For more information on protecting workers from emergency events, visit OSHA’s Emergency Preparedness and Response page. In addition to these resources, seek guidance from your local fire department, police department, and emergency management agency.

For additional information and resources on how to better prepare for emergencies, visit Ready.gov, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Download the Fatigue at Work Employer Toolkit

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Photo: FS-Stock/iStockphoto

Fatigue is having an impact on your workforce and your bottom line. Research shows that nearly 13% of workplace injuries may be linked to fatigue, and more than 40% of U.S. workers are sleep deprived.

The Fatigue at Work Employer Toolkit from the National Safety Council aims to help employers address this safety risk in the workplace. The toolkit has materials for human resources personnel, supervisors and employees, including:

  • Posters and tip sheets
  • Digital presentations
  • 5-minute safety talks
  • White papers and reports
  • Sample policies to implement at your workplace

Download the toolkit today.

Safe + Sound: New Resources for Safety and Health Programs

Safe + Sound Week Core Elements DecalWe know that while you are participating in Safe + Sound Week 2019 (August 12-18) you are also reviewing your safety and health programs.

Are you launching a new initiative? Refreshing an existing program? Updating a training?

We have put together some resources to help you improve your existing or new program. Some of the new materials include:

Share Your Experiences

As you are expanding your safety and health program, let us know what you’re doing! Please share your Safe + Sound Week activities on social media using #SafeAndSoundAtWork so that we can follow along!

U.S. Department of Labor Redesigns OSHA’s Whistleblower Website

OSHA recently redesigned the Whistleblower Protection Program’s website. The streamlined design highlights important information for employers and employees on more than 20 statutes enforced by the agency. The new whistleblower homepage utilizes video to showcase the covered industries, which include the railroad, airline, and securities industries. The improved navigational structure allows visitors to easily access information on protected activities, filing deadlines, and resources.

Safety and Health Resources

Featured Publication: Lighting the Way for Safety and Health Programs

case study produced through OSHA’s Electric Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership illustrates how safety and health programs can protect workers from industry hazards, such as electrocutions, falls, fires, and explosions. The study provides examples of and inspirations for programs that can find and fix hazards before they harm workers