from a balcony, discourage the worker
from disconnecting from his lifeline to
attempt a jump off the scaffold to the
One of the first things that should take
place is to evaluate the stranded worker’s
PFAS and lifeline. The worker should be
wearing the harness, lanyard, and rope
end of the lifeline should be securely
anchored to a nonmovable anchor. If the
lifeline is not in place or if the lifeline rope
is severely worn, lower a life safety rope
to replace the damaged/missing lifeline.
Have the worker attach it to his harness.
Review all of the options for accessing the worker—replacing a power
source, bringing an adjacent scaffold
or ladder to the worker, bringing the
worker through a window, or using a
top-down rope rescue system to pick
the worker off the two-point suspended
scaffold, for example.
Category 3: The worker has fallen off
the scaffold and is suspended by his
lifeline. This tipping of the swing stage
scaffold could be caused by the failure of
a primary anchor, the platform’s breaking
in half, a runaway motor on the platform,
or the worker’s slipping off the platform.
Procedure: You have two issues to
be concerned about. First, you have a
worker in a harness suspended by the
lifeline. Second, there may be a scaffold
or damaged anchor system above or in
the vicinity of the worker.
Persons suspended in a harness for a
long time may experience suspension
harness syndrome, a condition in which
toxins can build in the body distal to
where the tensioned harness is reducing
blood flow. The release of the harness
tension can send a swarm of toxins
flowing to the heart and vital organs.
Consider medical interventions to reduce
( 11) This Michigan National Guard soldier is
practicing a pickoff of a worker who had fallen
onto his lifeline. The rescue team is using a top-down rope rescue system.
If the damaged scaffold
system is above the
worker, a heavy structure
may be dangling above
the rescuer and the victim.