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Thread: Tower Rescue

  1. #1
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    Default Tower Rescue

    I'd like to start a thread about tower climbing. Techniques and equipment used.

    Let me ask the first question.
    What type of by-pass or tower lanyard do you use? What is its configuration and length?
    What location do you prefer to attach it to on your harness?

    Steve


  2. #2
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    Great question to start with. We (Elevated Safety) teach tower climbing, tower rescue, and F.D. rescue utilizing the same Y-Lanyards. Our favorite on the market right now are the Skylotec Shockyard Flex V. They have a nice elastic sheath supporting both legs (helps keep everything clean), ANSI compliant connectors, and rescue loops that pop up in the event of a fall. Shock absorption in each leg, so you can achieve maximum reach. Also rated for a factor 2 fall, which many lanyards on the market are not. From what we've experienced, most rescuers are not proficient in climbing with Y-lanyards, and therefore should probably use a Factor 2 to account for misuse. Link Below

    http://en.skylotec.com/equi/verb/all...20FLEX%20V%201

  3. #3
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    Climbing lanyards... wow, we could discuss this for a long time (and probably never reach an agreement on which to use). I'd like to follow up on something collinmoon referenced; rescue loops.
    I know there is a lot of talk about self rescue in the event of a fall. But all I ever hear is the talk... has anyone ever actually tried or done it? Sure, you might be able to get a foot or two into these leg loops but that's not rescue; you're still stuck.
    Our experience is that when you are hanging by the dorsal D ring it is next to impossible to do anything to rescue yourself... and that's in training when you're not injured! You are pretty much like a turtle on it's back.
    Of course if you fall from a tower you might be able to simply climb back on the structure. But when you're hanging in space that's not an option.
    So what are you guys seeing out there? Anybody suggesting that workers carry something they can use to get down (assuming they are not injured)? What about the use of alternate attachment points (like the sternal/chest D ring)? Anybody actually trained/practiced a "self-rescue"?
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckFF View Post
    Climbing lanyards... wow, we could discuss this for a long time (and probably never reach an agreement on which to use). I'd like to follow up on something collinmoon referenced; rescue loops.
    I know there is a lot of talk about self rescue in the event of a fall. But all I ever hear is the talk... has anyone ever actually tried or done it? Sure, you might be able to get a foot or two into these leg loops but that's not rescue; you're still stuck.
    Our experience is that when you are hanging by the dorsal D ring it is next to impossible to do anything to rescue yourself... and that's in training when you're not injured! You are pretty much like a turtle on it's back.
    Of course if you fall from a tower you might be able to simply climb back on the structure. But when you're hanging in space that's not an option.
    So what are you guys seeing out there? Anybody suggesting that workers carry something they can use to get down (assuming they are not injured)? What about the use of alternate attachment points (like the sternal/chest D ring)? Anybody actually trained/practiced a "self-rescue"?
    Dave
    I recommend using something like the DBI shockwave2. It has a D-ring just above the snap hook where it connects to your dorsal D. In the event of a fall, you can attach the end of your bail out line to the D-ring and your pre-rigged descender (Petzl Rig) to your waste/sternal D. Then you can step up on the I'D and transfer the load to your bailout line - remove your snap hook from your back and rappel to the deck. There are several manufactures who offer this style of lanyard. The only issue would be sizing your bailout bum bag to your site. I use this set up on wind turbines, so my elevation is always known. Mine is 300' of 10.5mm attached to a Petzl Rig. The bag sits flat on the back of your harness and doesn't weigh too much. In the event of a fall the rescue D ring on the lanyard is easy to reach. Once you transfer your weight, the dorsal snap hook is right by your ear and is slacked. The whole transfer takes about a minute or two.

    I agree on also having step loops either deployed from the lanyard or on your waist. Mine stay on my harness because I change lanyards on different jobs. These are a MUST have! They will save your life. As long as you can step up and get some blood return from your legs you will survive for a long time. I use two of the Miller Relief Step Safety Device. One on each side of my harness. They are only $20 and are super easy to deploy.

    I've seen a few FD Rescue rigs that only have 3' sternal lanyards. If I have a choice I will always attach to my sternal D with a 3' lanyard (like on a open lattice tower). However, you will find that most industrial fall protection systems are set up for 6' dorsal lanyards. With a 3' sternal lanyard you might find yourself coming up short on a structure during a bypass. There are OSHA/ANSI updates that now allow for sternal or dorsal lanyard connections. But you would need both styles of lanyard. You can not use a 6' lanyard in the sternal connection.

    I would consider cable grabs/runners to be just as important as lanyard use. Most rescues I've seen have been EMS related while ascending with cable grabs. You would need to cable up to the victim then use your lanyard to bypass to set up your high pulley or short haul. You don't want to be the guy who has to lanyard up a tower because you don't have a cable grab. It can be done, it just sucks.

    If you are beginning to train on using lanyards pay attention to where the legs are. I often see guys with the legs up under their arms or twisted real bad. When climbing, the legs should always be over your shoulder so you don't get spun around violently if you were to take a fall. Also, don't park your lanyards to the harness itself. On the older style lanyards where the legs come back to a single connection at a single shock absorber, falling on a lanyard with one leg parked on your harness can isolate your absorber and hurt or kill you. There are special "lanyard parks" available or newer style industrial harness have these already. I use two big *** zip ties, one on each side of my sternal D. I can park my free leg there if I need to and if I were to fall it will break away. Just FYI. If you go by any construction site you will see all sorts of bad examples of lanyard use.

    If I had to make one on the fly I would probably just make two 3' purcells and attach them independently to my sternal D. ?? what do you guys think ??

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    You bring up some great points about the cable grab. It seems a majority of departments in our area are ill-equipped for tower-rescue. Its mostly a lack of knowledge about these types of rescues. The DBI Sala Lad-Saf (x2) is definitely a piece of gear that should find its way into every teams cache.

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    Collinmoon is right... as we find more and more towers equipped with "built-in" fall arrest it just makes sense to use it. You have to have your own cable grabs; don't plan on getting them from the workers. Our plan is to have the first climber trail a FD rope so that subsequent climbers can throw their ASAP on it and head up... then we are using our equipment.
    All that said, don't rely on the cable system. Bridges don't have them and many towers don't either. Even if they do, once you have to move away from the cable you'll still need a double lanyard (in most cases we use the Petzl AbsorbicaY MGO which is attached to the chest D-ring, not the back, as bottrigg explained).
    We also have a shepherds hook/clam shell on a telescopic pole that we use for advanced placed fall protection. The climber's ASAP is on the rope and it works great, much faster than trying to climb using a double lanyard. We are also playing around with a unique was of using this system that allows the first climber to be able to move around once he gets in position without having to mess with his double lanyard; and he can do this while the #2 climber is headed up using the rope just put in place. Some time I'll try to shoot some pictures of the set up.
    Don't forget to have a position strap (aka buck strap, safety strap). You have to be able to work hands free (like the tower workers do). This means that your harness had better have positioning rings on the hips.
    Dave

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    Great points Dave, climbing with Y-Lanyards can be a b*** after the first couple of minutes. You reference utilizing the lateral D-Rings for work positioning. We've found that its far more comfortable to utilize the central or waist d-ring on your rope access and rescue harnesses. It also has the effect of not running your rope over the anchor point when you turn side to side. I will admit that the lateral D-rings are way better on traditional tower climbing harnesses, like the exo-fit with integrated seat-board.

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