With the introduction of Checkmate descent and rescue systems, DAVIS is the first general contractor in the Washington, DC region to have state-of-the-art fall rescue equipment onsite for safe retrieval of someone in the event of a fall. 

Even with strict safety measures in place, the risk for a fall still exists in some jobsite 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. A lifeline 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, the DAVIS safety team determined that the Checkmate Max 300R was the only one that met the company’s 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 standard issue to all employees. The straps are used by temporarily placing legs in the strap to relieve pressure from the harness, allowing for additional rescue time if needed.

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. Once attached, the system’s hand wheel and gear box allows 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.

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


Founded 1966, DAVIS Construction is the largest general contractor that solely serves the Washington region, building nearly one billion dollars of construction annually; including some of the region’s most complex and notable projects, across 10 diverse market sectors.
For more information, please visit davisconstruction.com or follow us @DAVISbuilds.

Checkmate Max 300R safety line being lowered to rescue mock-fall victim.