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Suspension trauma following a fall

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2017 | Workplace Injuries

When Oklahoma employees are required to work at great heights, they are always at risk for falling. To prevent accidental falls, fall arrest personal protective equipment, which often include full-body harness systems, are used. While these systems can save a worker’s life, they often leave users suspended, potentially leading to suspension trauma and orthostatic intolerance.

OSHA states that suspension trauma occurs when a person is immobilized while being suspended. Symptoms can vary depending on a person’s health, but weakness, fainting and blood pulling in the veins are common. In worst case scenarios, the condition can even lead to death. Suspension trauma can set in within just a few minutes, and it may occur more quickly if the person is unconscious. It is recommended that employers have a plan in place to get to suspended employees as quickly as possible.

There are a few accessories that are available to prevent or delay suspension trauma. For example, relief steps can be provided to workers. These steps allow workers to stand up in their harness so that they can improve their circulation while still being suspended. Another option is an integrated self-rescue harness system. This system lets workers lower themselves to the ground so that they are not suspended longer than necessary.

Workplace injuries can make it very difficult for employees to pay their bills, especially if they require extensive medical treatment. If people do become injured while at work, they will likely be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits through their employer’s insurance coverage. An attorney can often be helpful with the preparation and submission of the required claim forms.


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