If working at height is a regular part of your job, you know that proper fall protection equipment is imperative when it comes to getting the job done efficiently and safely. The dangers of working at height do not stop once the worker’s fall-arrest equipment performs effectively to reduce the consequences of a fall from height. The worker may now be at risk of an equally life-threatening emergency; suspension trauma.

How Does Suspension Trauma Occur?

Simply put, suspension trauma refers to the loss of consciousness experienced by the hanging individual as a result of being held upright with limited movement for a prolonged period of time. As a result of the loss of consciousness occurring from motionless vertical suspension rather than physical injury, the term ‘syncope’ is also commonly used when this type of accident occurs. The causes of syncope can be classified in various ways, including vascular, cardiac, neurological and metabolic.  Once an individual becomes symptomatic, several symptoms may start to appear, these include;

  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Tingling/numbness in the arms & legs
  • Faintness
  • Flushing sensations

These symptoms are often referred to as ‘presyncope’ and if nothing is done to aid the suspended individual, they will eventually become in a syncope state. Suspension trauma does not occur as a result of one single factor however but is usually caused by a combination of a number factors. Commonly, however, it is caused by too much blood flowing to the legs which then gets trapped, also known as ‘blood pooling’, resulting in the brain not receiving an adequate amount of oxygen. As the human body is not designed to be in an upright position for long periods of time, it does not have the ability to ‘suck’ blood up from our legs once gravity has pulled it down. To counteract this, the body uses four major methods in order to return blood to the heart and other parts of the body, which includes the use of veins and pumping muscles. When suspension trauma arises, a number of key factors are triggered which severely impairs these methods in returning blood from the legs back to the heart and therefore impacts the amount of oxygen the brain receives. These things are:

  1. Body weight in the safety harness compressing veins – Pinched veins results in blood not being able to travel back to the heart and therefore becomes ‘trapped’ in your legs.
  2. A lack of movement – Due to the body being limiting in its movement, muscles are unable to perform in the way they’re needed to pump blood back to the heart.
  3. A build-up of toxins within the blood – Due to blood pooling in the legs, there is a lack of oxygen being delivered around the body, this results in organs and muscles releasing toxic waste products at dangerous levels of concentration in order to survive.

The brain has the ability to alter the body’s heart and breathing rates when it detects a problem such as blood pooling. The only problem here is that the brain cannot tell the difference between blood pooling and blood loss, so the way it reacts is the same. When blood begins to pool in the legs, the brain increases the body’s breathing and pulse rates as it thinks you are bleeding, resulting in more blood being pushed to the legs. With increased levels of blood now in the legs, the brain will eventually realise that its own supply is dropping and activates an emergency last-resort to make you faint and fall-over so that the blood can make then make its way around the body and back to the brain. You are not able to fall-over when you are hanging in a harness, however, so you become unconscious whilst remaining upright. This now places you in danger as firstly your airway is not safe in this position, which could result in suffocation and secondly, your brain still has insufficient oxygen and now no way of getting any more. The body has no backup plan so to say.

How to Treat Suspension Trauma

  • The longer an individual is left suspended, the greater the chances are of the above symptoms and resulting effects occurring. These are relieved when the individual starts to recline, so the individual should be removed from an upright position as quick as possible, especially if they are in a motionless state.
  • If the individual is conscious, they should be encouraged to gently exercise their legs in order to stimulate blood circulation and increase the lowered blood pressure.
  • If the individual is not conscious then it is preferable to elevate the lower limbs slightly.
  • If there is any doubt regarding the individual’s state or the period of suspension, alert medical agencies immediately.

How Can You Prevent Suspension Trauma?

As is the same with all accidents, prevention is better than cure. When working in an area or a job where the element of suspension is possible, ensure you have an adequate rescue plan in place in order to receive a quick and safe rescue. An important factor to consider is the type of safety harness that is used as harnesses that restrict movement and tighten the legs when hanging can result in symptoms occurring much faster. Here at SLG, we strive to prevent any such accidents from occurring and want all workers to be as safe as possible if such situations do happen. Our Suspension Trauma Strap is designed to allow a worker to stand up while suspended, assisting normal blood flow and increase the amount of time that can be spent safely awaiting rescue. To view our full range of Trauma Straps, click here.

If you have any questions or queries regarding height safety or our range of Trauma Straps then please feel free to contact us by calling 0808 123 69 69 or emailing us at sales@safetyliftingear.com today!

 

Safety when carrying loads upstairs – why it matters

 When carrying a heavy load, it is paramount that you are using the correct equipment to keep you, and your colleagues, safe. But when it comes to carrying heavy loads upstairs it is even more crucial that you are tackling the task with the appropriate equipment, having fully evaluated potential risks.

The added hazard of falling and/or crushing means carrying loads upstairs is something you should take very seriously. The good news is, Safety Lifting Gear offers the equipment you need to make lifting loads upstairs easier and more efficient! Read on, to find out more: 

Stair Climbers 

Stair climbers are designed to help the operator safely carry loads upstairs in a careful, manageable way. All of SLG's stair climbers allow for the safe manoeuvring of loads which need to be taken upstairs; we offer a variety of stair climbers for purchase and hire. 

Sack Truck Stair Climber

 

(Sack Truck Stair Climber)

This sack truck stair climber can carry up to 100kg upstairs. Stair climbers (sometimes known as 'stair walkers') help, as the name suggests, to walk loads upstairs. Using three wheels on either side means the load can be moved upstairs, one step at a time. While these manual sack truck stair climbers do require the operator to actually use their strength in carrying heavy loads upstairs, they are cost-effective and suitable for relatively lighter loads.  

Electric Powered Stair Climber

(150kg Electric Powered Stair Climber)

This electric powered stair climber is perfect for carrying heavy loads of up to 150kg upstairs – with excellent grip and power assistance to help you move loads upstairs efficiently. It also features adjustable speed, meaning it is adaptable to you. For more information on the difference between a powered stair climber, and a manual one, please see our video comparing the two.

Powered Stairclimber

(MTK-310 Powered Stairclimber)

This powered stairclimber can be managed by 1 person and easily lifts loads of up to 310kg upstairs. An electric system is built into the device, with power buttons for operation – it makes managing heavy loads much easier. It also relieves the strain which can be subjected to wrists and arms when trying to transport heavy items upstairs.

 For more information on manual handling health & safety, check out this helpful page from PalleTruck-Trolleys! Whatever equipment you require for moving heavy loads, we can help. Browse our site or get in touch – we’d be happy to help you identify the best gear for you.

 

If you find yourself in need of equipment to safely lift a heavy load it’s important that you get hold of the correct apparatus to tackle the task – in many cases, what you need is a chain block. While a chain block – aka chain hoist – is a staple of some factories, worksites and garages, we understand that not everyone requires the use of a chain block permanently.  That’s why Safety Lifting Gear provide the option to rent a wide variety of chain blocks to suit your particular need.

What is a chain block?

A chain block is a lifting and lowering apparatus which can help move heavy loads weighing up to a few tonnes. They must be attached to a rated lifting point or a mobile gantry, also available for hire from Safety Lifting Gear.

 How does a chain block work?

When renting a chain block hoist, it is important to decide whether you need a manual or electric chain block:

Manual hand chain hoists use a number of cogs to exert force over a heavy object allowing for accurate lifting and lowering of heavy loads. The load is lifted by the user pulling on a hand chain to operate the machine.  This lifting technique will get your job done, and manual chain blocks are generally cheaper to rent when compared with the electric chain blocks available to hire. However, the process will inevitably be slower.  

So, if you’re in a hurry, or have multiple loads to move –  renting an electric chain block from SLG is the best option for you. An electric chain block works on the same premise as a manual hoist – the addition of electricity simply means it works automatically and can be easily managed through the use of a remote control.

Why rent a chain hoist from SLG?

Hiring a chain block from Safety Lifting Gear allows you to get a one-off job done without the commitment of purchasing a chain block outright. Our rental services are top-notch with fast delivery, clear instructions and great value prices. When browsing our chain block page simply click ‘hire me’ to find all rental details.

If you ever have any queries, please feel free to get in touch. You can reach us on: 0808 123 69 69!

No matter where you work or where you live, you’re almost guaranteed to see a ladder somewhere! Whether it’s in the middle of a shop floor or stored away in an equipment room or shed, everyone needs a ladder to help complete tasks at those awkward heights. If by any chance you do not have a ladder or are in need of a new one, then SafetyLiftinGear are here to help! Our extensive range of ladders are now restocked, all suitable for various environments and tasks, so whether you need to reach a product on a shelf or have to clean those gutters that you’ve been putting off for months, we are sure to have the ladder you need to get the job done quickly and safely.

All of our ladders are different and are built to serve a number of purposes, below you can find a number of the ladders we offer here at SLG and the best places in which they are suited.

 

Aluminium Telescopic Ladders

 

 

Our collection of Aluminium Telescopic Ladders have recently been restocked and are perfect for a number of tasks both at work and at home. These ladders are collapsible and are available in both lightweight and heavy-duty options, making them great for a number of work and home tasks. Due to their collapsibility, they are able to be stored and transported with ease within the home and congested work environments. Professionals such as riggers and contractors who frequently travel will benefit greatly from using these types of ladders as they can be easily stored in vans and taken along to any job. Our heavy-duty option is also great for use in working environments as they provide the durability and strength needed to last a long time and ensure safety when used. With a design that is both smooth and user-friendly, this ladder makes it easy to choose the desired height in which you need to work at. You can view our entire range of telescopic ladders here.

 

Loft Ladders

Our Loft Ladders are perfect if you need a safe and easy solution to get in and out of your attic. Providing unique patented features that include a self-deploying stabiliser a slow closing mechanism to prevent fingers from trapping and with a telescopic build, they are easy to set up and use so you will have no trouble gaining access to your loft. They are also extremely easy to assemble and take up the minimum amount of space in your attic, you really should look no further when it comes to finding a ladder to access your loft. View our full range of loft ladders here.

 

Step Ladders

 

 

A classic option, you can most definitely find a step ladder in most home and commercial premises due to their size and ability to be transported easily. As they are shorter than other forms of ladders, these provide an excellent solution when it comes to performing low-level lifting and reaching operations. For added stability and safety, a number of step ladders in our collection contain slip-resistant and anti-slip treads, making these ladders even more safe to use. Click here to view our full range of step ladders.

Please ensure that when you are using any type of ladder you are using it correctly and in the safest possible way. If you are unsure or unfamiliar with the safe use of ladders, then please visit our Ladder Safety page to find out more.

 

The Ladder Association

SafetyLiftinGear is proud members of The Ladder Association, a premier trade association, home to all essential guidance and training needed to ensure working at height is as safe as possible. Along with its members, The Ladder Association gathers expertise to support safety and best practice of ladder use as well as technical advice. As a member, SLG is a recognised organisation that offer both ladder rentals and sales that you can trust, providing you ease of mind that you are receiving a ladder of the highest quality and also provide access to knowledge, resources and support in relation to ladders, which includes training for working at height safely.

It is important to also mention that single British and European product standard covering all types of portable ladders has been substantially revised. For further information on this change visit The Ladder Association page here.

These are just a few of the large selection of ladders that we supply here at SafetyLiftinGear. Other options include Extension, Glass-Fibre and Multi-Purpose Ladders, all of which are in stock can be viewed here to purchase. If you have any questions regarding the ladders mentioned above or our full range of ladders then please do not hesitate to contact us today us today where a member of our customer service team will be more than happy to help. 

With British Summertime well underway, festivals are starting to pop-up pretty much every weekend.  The first festival of the season kicking off this Saturday is Park Life and Download. 

With festivals running from this weekend all the way until September, we are fully stocked up on all of our carts. Our range of festival carts and trolleys will make your life a whole lot easier, especially if you are going to a festival for the whole weekend. There is nothing worse than struggling with all of your bags; most festival entrances are miles away from the nearest car-park or bus-station so be sure to get your festival cart or trolley before they sell out! 

As we all know, the summer sun doesn't last very long in the UK and most of the time, you can experience some rain. With rain, there comes festival mud, every person's nightmare! With our festival carts and trolleys, you don't have to panic about transporting all of your items whilst slipping through the mud because your trolley will carry it all!

Festival Carts and Trolleys - preparing for Summer 2018 Festivals

Whether sun or rain, our carts will make your festival experience a little less stressful and a lot easier. You can pack all of your belongings, some food and drink and still have enough room for some extra bits and bobs you may pick up on the way. What's more, festival carts are also great for family festivals. (Disclaimer: we do not recommend you use your cart for transporting children...however, with the below picture being extra adorable we made an exception to include it, but please always take care when using one of our carts!)

Festival Carts and Trolleys - perparing for Summer 2018

No matter the items you're bringing along with you to this year's festivals, here at SafetyLiftinGear we have a wide array to suit all of your festival needs. We even have an assembly video for when you do purchase your festival cart.

 

Some of this year's UK Festivals- Summer 2018 

 

Download Festival | 8-10 June | Derby 

Parklife | 9-10 June | Manchester

Wireless Festival | 6-8 July | London

Latitude Festival | 12-15 July | Southwold 

Bestival | 2-5 August | Lulworth Castle 

Boardmasters | 8-12 August | Newquay 

Boomtown | 9-12 August | Winchester 

Greenman | 16-19 August | Brecon Beacons 

Creamfields | 23-26 August | Daresbury 

Reading and Leeds | 24-26 August | Reading and Leeds 

Festival No.6 | 6-9 September | Portmeirion

Buy and hire festival carts from SafetyLiftinGear >