When working at height, you are often required to wear a fall arrest harness. However, although it protects you from a fatal fall, it cannot protect you from another physical phenomenon:suspension trauma.

Suspension trauma (orthostatic suspension shock or harness suspension syndrome) can occur after a fall and is amplified when the wearer of the harness remains suspended and inert.

As soon as the fall is stopped, the harness straps exert a significant pressure on the body, which is accentuated in the legs, pelvis and torso. The pressure of the straps prevents normal blood flow, thus reducing the flow of oxygenated blood to the lungs, heart and brain.

This lack of oxygen quickly damages these vital organs, and a potentially fatal situation ensues: stroke, pulmonary embolism, etc… Suspension trauma does not happen suddenly, but gradually. The longer the patient is suspended in the harness, the more likely circulatory problems will occur.

No precise duration can be indicated concerning the evolution of a suspension trauma over time; however, studies are consistent in suggesting that a serious or even fatal risk would appear within a few minutes only. Rapid intervention is therefore necessary.

KRATOS SAFETY has a solution that can slow down this process: The anti-trauma strap. Specially designed to help relieve the negative effects of suspension trauma, it helps maintain good blood circulation in the legs after a fall. Compact and lightweight, it is easy to attach to the harness and does not hamper the activity of the worker while at work.

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