Monday, 12 December 2011

RESCOM Communications

I am sure you have all seen, read or used Con Space wire communications, I most certainly have and was very impressed with its performance. However sooner or later something better comes along. I was first introduced to RESCOM by an American friend of mine and what surprised me about this system was that not only was it a full wire communications set but, this system was built into a full specification 11mm diameter kernmantle line! 

The entrants head set with the amplifier box and throat microphone. The Amplifier box has its own AA batteries and volume adjustment

Fully waterproof providing a choice of one or two earphones and a very responsive throat microphone. The system shown here can be worn over a BA face mask head harness comfortably. Also by not now requiring microphone connections directly into the face mask, it does not infringe the certification of the BA set. This can prove costly to have re-certified should adaptions be required to take external communications equipment.

The head harness of RESCOM has a mesh fabric which reduces its profile making it very comfortable and secure when worn beneath a helmet.

The earphone sits nicely between the straps of a Petzl Ecrin, the push fit connectors will easily part if any section of the connecting cable becomes snagged.

The set worn by the communications officer consists of a choice of either a simple headphone set with a boom mike or the choice of the full head set to be worn beneath a helmet if in a hazardous area. The amplifier has its own battery supply, volume adjustment and an on - off switch. As the system is powered at both ends its maximum working length is 1.5Km!
 The Boom mike is noise cancelling and as such must be within 6mm of the operator’s mouth. The entire system is extremely resistant to external interference, allowing it to be used in close proximity with VHF and UHF radios and mobile cell phones. The manufacturing company offer a wide range of interfaces, allowing connection to portable radios or even public telephone systems.

Without a doubt the equipment is special because the entire system utilises an 11mm kernmantle line to carry the wires. The line is as flexible as any line we have used. We have tried a wide range of hardware on the line including several Fig 8 descenders, auto stop descenders, ascenders and Gibbs, prussic loops. We have run the line through pullies and used Z rigs. The rope also takes all the usual knots very well. This rope we recommend, be utilised as your safety line. When ordering, ensure you order long lengths of line to reduce the need for knotting. 

Rollgliss Top 350 Safety Instructions

The new Rollgliss TOP R350 range of devices has been developed following experience in manufacture, maintenance and marketing of safety and rescue systems, inspected and certificated to meet or exceed the latest technical and safety regulations it has been granted the approval of the CE mark EN0158.

It complies with EN341,
EN361, EN795, EN1496, EN1497, EN1498.  It is also manufactured in accordance with OSHA, ANSI and NFPA standards.

Strict observance of the following operating maintenance instructions is essential.  Failure to comply with the present instructions will result in Rollgliss and its subsidiaries refusing to accept any liability for damages.

The required visual and functional load tests must be carried out each time the equipment is used.  To guarantee required safety standards, it is forbidden to modify the system from its original state either in part or in full.

If you are in any doubt about the condition or mode of operation of the equipment then the system or parts thereof must be replaced without delay and before the equipment is used.  Such work must be carried out exclusively by the manufacturer or by a Rollgliss authorised agency.

For the reasons of safety it is important to discontinue to use a system or a component part that has been subjected to strain as a result of a fall and to return the system, or component part to the manufacturer or to a Rollgliss authorised agency for servicing and renewed certification.

The system rope must not be exposed to any acids, alkaline solutions or any other harmful substances and should not be exposed to prolonged UV rays or sunlight.

Rollgliss should also be consulted if there are any doubts as to the possible effects of environmental or industrial agents upon the equipment.

It is in principle, possible to disinfect the system.  Approval for the disinfection procedure or disinfectant should first of all be obtained from Rollgliss. Weak solution of Savlon, rinse well in clean water.

The equipment or system may only be operated by trained and experienced individuals, who have been appointed or directed by the owner of the system for this purpose.

The owner of the system shall be responsible for setting a policy regarding training and for all visual checks and functional load tests, which are to be completed by the user.

These operating and maintenance instructions must be observed and followed with absolute precision before using the Rollgliss TOP R350 Rescue and Safety System.
Practice and regular training are essential, as personal injury may be suffered as a result of misuse of the equipment.

Visual checks and functional load tests are required each time the equipment is used.

When practising, the use of an additional protection against a fall is strongly recommended in case the equipment is operated incorrectly.



1 to 1 system         1 person (95Kg)
3 to 1 system         1 person ascending or 2 persons descending
5 to 1 system         2 persons ascending or 2 persons descending

Rollgliss assistance winch shown with a Jumar braking aid. The winch conveniently clamps onto the leg of a tripod and will work on square or round leg tripods. The winch has a full EN 1496 class B certificate when used with the Jumar breaking aid. If buying winches many do not have this EN requirement

Head assembly of the Rollgliss Tripod showing the four separate anchor points.

Assessing risk

Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999Regulation 3 of the Management of Health & Safety Regulations 1999 (MHSW) requires employers to carry out suitable and sufficient Risk Assessments.

So what are Risk Assessments?
A Risk Assessment requires that you assess all the risks in your workplace. That is, what could cause harm to yourself, your employees and members of the public, and the likelihood of an incident occurring. You then need to decide what precautions you must take to prevent this happening, or how to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.

Hazard and Risk
Which is which?

means anything that can cause harm (e.g. falling from a ladders, falling down a shaft, tripping over a rope, failure of an item of equipment).

Is the chance, high, medium or low, that somebody will be harmed by the hazard. What does suitable and sufficient mean? - The detail required in the risk assessment should be proportionate to the severity of the hazard or risk. In deciding the amount of effort you put into assessing risks, you have to estimate whether the hazards are significant, and whether the precautions you have taken have reduced the risk to an acceptable level.
The five step process:

STEP 1: Look for the hazards.

STEP 2: Decide who might be harmed and how.

STEP 3: Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.

STEP 4: Record your findings.

STEP 5: Review your assessment and regularly revise it if necessary.

Hazard & risk

Hazard & risk are often confused.
HAZARD: is the potential to do harm
The hazards include...

Access to sites, projections, manual handling, working at height, uneven/slippery surfaces, ladders, noise, weather e.g. snow, ice, wind, rain, fog, sun, extreme temperatures. Biological hazards such as bird droppings, animal faeces and bacteria in air conditioning units. Substances such as dust in vents, soot and grease in flues & chimneys, asbestos. EF Radiation from antennae, especially micro wave links. Your complacency, lack of training, personal attitude, health and inappropriate clothes

RISK: is the likelihood of that potential being realised, combined with the severity of the consequences.

The risks include...
Collision injury, strains, workplace slips, trips, falls, falling objects, hearing loss,  sunburn, blown off a roof, lightning, hatches/doors blown shut. Biological such as Psittacosis, tetanus, hepatitis, Weils disease, Legionnaires disease, HIV Substances causing asphyxiation, cancer, respiratory & skin disorders

Risks can be controlled but hazards cannot be controlled
Levels of risk
High: The risk is intolerable and urgent action is required
Medium: The risk in this area should be reduced as low as reasonably practical.
Low: Broadly acceptable, existing controls are adequate.

* Ensure safe access & egress
* Design & build installations to high standards
* Provide adequate information and training
* Implement safe systems of work
* Maintain high standard of working environment
* Empower all employees
* Protect the public

There is no standard technique for carrying out a risk assessment. However, any risk assessment should satisfy three basic requirements. It should be structured, systematic and thorough. There are a number of techniques that can be used for hazards identification and analysis, depending on the degree of detail for the assessment and degree of human involvement in the process/activity.

There are two general approaches to risk assessment. These are:

* Workplace-based approach in which hazards presented in different parts of the structure or workplace are identified and then the question is asked as to who may be exposed to each hazard and when.
* The task-based approach, in which an individual or group of individuals are followed in their work activities and hazards associated with each step of their task are identified. This approach is based on task analysis.
The task-based approach to risk assessment is more appropriate to climbing/rescue activities.
Assessment of risk, These should be considered (but not limited to) when drawing up a risk assessment

Can the risk be avoided?

What are the performance characteristics required for effective PPE?

Compare proposed PPE with the requirements in the risk assessment

Review the risk assessment regularly

Write a 'Work method statement' - how you will do the work

Write a 'Safety method statement' - what things you need to consider regarding safety, for example rescue of a casualty.