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NET RECOVERY SYSTEM – RECOVERS SOMEONE WHO HAS FALLEN FROM HEIGHT

NET RECOVERY SYSTEM
After someone has had an accident or collapsed into a net, the Net Recovery System is placed beneath the casualty and the upper parapet is blown up and sealed to prevent them rolling out during the recovery procedure. The bottom main part of the system is then fully inflated to support and lift the casualty.

Once inflated, the safety net can be fully cut around the bag and then the bag is deflated, gently lowering the casualty to the floor.

Treatment can then be safely given to the casualty, or in an emergency, the casualty can be carried out on the inbuilt stretcher nearer to the site entrance to receive treatment as soon as the emergency services arrive on site, saving vital minutes.

WHAT IS IT?

The Net Recovery System is an extremely simple system that recovers someone who has fallen from height into a safety net.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. A worker is working at height above safety nets.
  2. He has a cardiac arrest and falls unconscious into the nets below, the nets stretch and support his body.
  3. The Net Recovery System is placed beneath the stricken worker and unpacked.
  4. The Net Recovery bag is unfolded under the stricken casualty.
  5. The stretcher is clipped into the bag while the outer anti rollout top parapet bag section is blown up and sealed.
  6. The main bag is inflated which lifts and supports the stricken casualty and places him centrally on the stretcher. The bag is now carrying the casualty’s full weight and so the netting is no longer supporting him and is now de-tensioned.  The whole process to totally inflate the top and bottom bag sections takes under two minutes.
  7. Using the cutters and knives the loose safety net is now cut from around the casualty.
  8. There should be someone positioned on all four sides of the rescue bag who, in unison open their bag zips to release the air out of the lower bag – The bag will smoothly lower the casualty safely onto the floor in under 1 minute.
  9. Once safely on the floor the casualty can instantly start to receive lifesaving treatment. If paramedics are still not on the scene and the circumstances require it, the stretcher can be unclipped and the casualty carried closer to the site entrance saving valuable seconds for when the emergency services arrive.

THE BENEFITS

  • Stored on the floor beneath where above net work is being carried out so it’s instantly available to recover a casualty after a fall.
  • Total inflation time is less than 2 minutes and deflates in under 40 seconds, so it’s very quick to recover someone.
  • Lithium battery powered blower to inflate bag so no additional power is required.
  • The bag weighs less than 25kg and casualties up to 150kg can be recovered.
  • Standard bag inflates to 2.9m with a recovery height of up to 2.5m, ideal for floor heights of up to 3.5m. Bigger bags for higher height recoveries can be supplied.
  • Method statement available to put straight into RAMS.
  • Available nationwide, reasonable hire rates.
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THE REASON BRILLIANT IDEAS CREATED THE SAFETY NET RECOVERY SYSTEM, AKA ‘THE BOOTHY BAG’
Whilst installing precast hollow core slabs on the third floor of a job, one of our staff had a cardiac arrest. Our employee fell backwards onto the scaffolding and his work colleagues quickly got to him to perform CPR. They kept him alive until the paramedics arrived to defibrillate him and take him to hospital.

The paramedics congratulated our staff on their response to the incident and said with their quick intervention it gave them a fighting chance to save his life. The casualty was taken straight to Kettering hospital where he received intensive treatment but unfortunately never recovered and he died two weeks later.

As a small company, losing a work colleague who died at just 50 years old was extremely distressing and upsetting for us all. It has affected the whole company. We have looked at ourselves to see if there was anything else we could have done and carried out a full in house investigation. We have since undertaken extra training for all our staff and now make sure that every gang has at least two people trained in first aid including CPR and the use of a defibrillator.

What was highlighted during our investigation into this incident was the discovery of some surprising defects in the risk and rescue procedures. This applied to ours, our clients and in fact every site we work on. What stood out most was that if our colleague had not fallen backwards onto the scaffolding but instead fell forwards into the fall protection net then there would be NO way to help him quickly. A second or maybe third person would need to be in the net which would be putting them all at risk of serious injury and CPR cannot be performed while the casualty is in the net.

We discovered that every site’s recovery procedure from nets was to say the least… Inadequate!

After the incident had taken place the emergency services were called immediately whilst our staff continued to perform CPR, the paramedics were there in around 10 minutes with the fire brigade around 15 minutes behind them. It is now apparent that the paramedics are not trained in this area and would not be able to retrieve the victim from the net. To perform their life saving duties the casualty needs to be safely on the ground. The paramedics would have had to wait for the fire brigade to arrive. We have been told by the fire brigade that trying to recover someone from a net on the third floor of a construction site is not a generic situation so a risk assessment would have to be complete before the rescue performed. All this would take a huge amount of time, if no CPR or defibrillation has been performed on the casualty in the first 11 minutes there is only a 10% chance of survival.

The site’s emergency net recovery plan was to get a plank/board and try to hold up the 17 stone + man who would have been hanging between 2- 3 metres up in the air, whilst a third person looks for a hop up and cuts the net. They would then try and gently lower him down so CPR and the use of a defibrillator could safely take place on the ground.

It was obvious to us that this situation is totally unacceptable. If someone has fallen into a safety net and is unable to retrieve themselves, say they have had a cardiac arrest, fit or black out, been knocked out by a swinging crane chain hook or attached item, bleeding very heavily or even just fell into the net and broken an arm or leg then recovery from the safety net is to say the least, a slow perilous procedure. To overcome this problem in the future we invented the NET RECOVERY SYSTEM a.k.a the “Boothy Bag”.

Whilst developing the recovery system our staff have affectionately called it the “Boothy Bag” out of respect for our lost colleague who gave us the inspiration to make it.

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