3M Latchways Personal Rescue Device

In 2013, falling from heights was OSHA’s third most preventable workplace incident. These accidents can be reduced with proper personal protective gear, installation of guard rails and other safety devices, along with employee training and diligence.

When does your facility need to provide fall protection?

According to OSHA, fall protection needs to be provided, “…at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations.” In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.

If a fall does occur OSHA guideline 1926.502 (d) (20) dictates that an employer must provide, “prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves.” 3M developed Latchways Personal Rescue Device™ (PRD) to meet this requirement.

Latchways Personal Rescue Device™ (PRD)

3M’s PRD is lightweight, unobtrusive, easily stored and integrates seamlessly into a 3M™ Elavation™ Full Body Harness. In the event of a fall there are two rescue methods. First is self-rescue where the victim can in four easy steps reach the ground.
1. Check the ground below to ensure descent path is clear and a safe landing is possible.
2. Open the flap on the right shoulder strap to access the release cord.
3. Pull sharply on the release cord
4. Prepare for landing by bending knees slightly.

However, if the user is unable to self-rescue, the system can easily be activated by another person using the Latchways Rescue Pole. Below is a review of PRD Advantages.
• Self-rescue: Bring the victim down, not the rescuer up
• Incredibly simple rescue plan: Look down and pull
• Rescue from 65′ completed in 27 seconds
• Integrated with personal fall protection systems
• Only used in the event of an incident


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