Leading the Region with Fall Rescue System

construction workers performing safety check

At DAVIS, safety is our #1 priority, which is why fall protection and rescue instruction (seen below) is a critical element of our safety program. With the introduction of Checkmate descent and rescue systems, we are the first general contractor in the Washington, DC region to have state-of-the-art fall rescue equipment onsite for the safe retrieval of someone in the event of a fall.  

Every Second Counts

Even with strict safety measures in place, the risk of a fall still exists in some project site areas. Any employee working alongside an unprotected side or edge more than six feet above a lower level must use a form of fall protection, such as a retractable lifeline. This device locks at a speed of 4½ feet per second – much like a seatbelt – leaving a fall victim suspended in their safety harness. To prevent harness suspension trauma or life-threatening injuries, such as loss of circulation, a fall victim must be rescued within 15 minutes. After testing several fall rescue systems, our safety team determined that the Checkmate Max 300R was the only one that met DAVIS’ high safety standards. Using the equipment during all mock-rescues, teams successfully returned fall victims to safety in less than five minutes. As a DAVIS best practice, suspension trauma straps are a standard issue for all employees (pictured below). The straps are used by temporarily placing legs in the strap to relieve pressure from the harness, allowing for additional rescue time if needed.

Rescue at Every Level

To use the system, a rescue line is attached to a fall victim’s harness. If a fall victim is unable to attach the line themselves, then a telescoping pole is used (pictured below). Once attached, the system’s hand wheel and gear box allow a person of any size to lower or raise a fall victim to safety. The system is intuitively designed to lower a fall victim at four feet per second, to avoid the lifeline from locking in place. Ideally, they would be brought to the nearest grade or level, but in the case that a longer descent is necessary, our systems include 300 feet of rescue line for our tallest projects. 

Redefining the Way You Experience Safety

Under the leadership of DAVIS Safety Director, Dave Chandler, ten in-house safety managers + OSHA-30 instructors provide hands-on fall rescue education to project teams. All Checkmate systems are centrally located onsite, with numerous DAVIS employees qualified to properly deploy and operate them in the event of a fall. 

“We care about our workers. We want their experience on a DAVIS project to be a safe one. With our expert preparation and education, we’re making sure that everyone returns home safely at the end of every shift." – 

-Dave Chandler, Safety Director, DAVIS

Read more about our award-winning safety program and stay updated on team activity here.