Any safety-related incidents when working at height often necessitate self-rescue as the front-line or most rapid-response tactic. In this regard, MSA Africa is introducing its Latchways Personal Rescue Device (PRD), an integrated harness system.
This lightweight, unobtrusive rescue device is contained in a small backpack attached to a full-body harness. It has been designed to be used in conjunction with a fall protection system or anchor point, Suraksha Mohun, Product Marketing Manager, MSA Africa, notes.
The patented components of the Latchways PRD fit neatly into the backpack, allowing workers to carry out their daily tasks unhindered. Indeed, the backpack becomes part of the daily Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for those working at height.
“There is a legal obligation to have a comprehensive rescue plan in place when individuals are working at height,” Mohun stresses. In the event of a fall, the MSA Latchways PRD suspends the worker, who is then lowered to the ground gently in a controlled descent.
The device features a 20 m spool of Aramid rope, released at a controlled rate via an integral braking mechanism. The innovative design of the MSA Latchways PRD only uses quality components and a limited number of moving parts so as to guarantee 100% mechanical integrity.
Unlike competitor rescue kits, the MSA Latchways PRD requires no specialist training, as it is simply worn in conjunction with a standard fully-body harness, and is activated by simply pulling the release cord. Its user-friendliness is enhanced by the fact that pre-use checks are minimal.
“Periodic inspection is required at least annually, or more frequently, to comply with corporate PPE inspection schedules,” Mohun highlights. The descent device, harness, and backpack should be checked for any signs of damage, corrosion, or chemical attack.
The Latchways PRD range from MSA Africa includes a Workman Premier and Workman Utility full-body harness. A rescue pole is also available, which can be used by a third party to activate the Latchways PRD in the event of a worker at height being incapacitated. The rescue pole is 800 mm when retracted, and 3 400 mm when extended.