Department of Defense

Department of Defense

Although the cranes, aircraft hangars, ship and railroad yards associated with DoD and military installations exist to keep our nation safe, these same facilities present a number of fall hazards that potentially put military personnel and defense contractors in harms way.  From maintenance of fixed wing aircraft, ships and submarines, and a substantial fleet of trucks, tanks, and other vehicles, to the unloading railroad cars and freighters, work performed in military installations must be done under the protective umbrella of a comprehensive approach to fall protection, which includes the proper equipment and personnel training.  Selecting the proper fall protection partner under these circumstances is mission critical.

We are a complete turnkey provider of OSHA compliant fall protection systems and have years of design and installation experience in the defense market sector.  Contact us for expert assistance with your fall arrest, fall restraint and fall protection requirements.

Design Considerations

The fall protection requirements for aviation maintenance personnel are diverse.  While aircraft maintenance technicians all face working at heights on smooth, slippery surfaces, hangar roof heights, differing potential anchor points, shape and roof pitch/curvature, and the amount of load that can be safely added to a roof’s internal structure vary from one hangar to the next.

In maintenance facilities designed primarily for smaller planes, positioning requirements and lower working heights typically require a rigid rail overhead trolley system.  Cartesian, or two way coordinate systems offer the flexibility to provide fall protection for 100% of planned coverage, and can be power or manually driven.  On taller aircraft where working heights allow, fixed horizontal lifelines are used in addition to rigid rail trolley fall protection systems.  For outside tarmac maintenance, DFP also offers portable fall protection systems, including vacuum single point anchors.

Regardless of the structural limitations of your maintenance facility and the size of aircraft serviced, DFP engineers each hangar fall protection system with several guiding principles.  Our goal is to engineer fall protection systems to provide complete access to each section of the plane or helicopter.  Fall protection must not interfere with mobility or productivity.  All systems are engineered with simplicity and ease of use as goals to ensure compliance.  Finally, each fall protection system must meet all military and DoD fall protection standards (which in some cases are more stringent than OSHA) in a cost-effective manner.  These design principles, coupled with years of experience in aviation settings make DFP the ideal partner for all of your hangar fall protection needs.

For crane and crane rail applications as well as paint blast booth facilities commonly found in military installations, all horizontal lifelines, rigid beam systems, and single point anchors must safely accommodate the number of intended users and arrest falls before personnel came come into contact with surfaces beneath the designated work area.  All DFP installation engineers have the needed security clearances to perform work in restricted areas and appreciate the unique nature of the fall protection challenges posed by the degfense market sector.

OSHA Regulations

  • HLL/VLL
    • 1926.502(d)
      'Personal fall arrest systems.' Personal fall arrest systems and their use shall comply with the provisions set forth below. Effective January 1, 1998, body belts are not acceptable as part of a personal fall arrest system. Note: The use of a body belt in a positioning device system is acceptable and is regulated under paragraph (e) of this section.
    • 1926.502(d)(8)
      Horizontal lifelines shall be designed, installed, and used, under the supervision of a qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall arrest system, which maintains a safety factor of at least two.
    • 1926.502(d)(9)
      Lanyards and vertical lifelines shall have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN).
    • 1926.502(d)(10) 1926.502(d)(10)(i)
      Except as provided in paragraph (d)(10)(ii) of this section, when vertical lifelines are used, each employee shall be attached to a separate lifeline.
    • 1926.502(d)(11)
      Lifelines shall be protected against being cut or abraded.
    • 1926.502(d)(12)
      Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which automatically limit free fall distance to 2 feet (0.61 m) or less shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,000 pounds (13.3 kN) applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.
    • 1926.502(d)(13)
      Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which do not limit free fall distance to 2 feet (0.61 m) or less, ripstitch lanyards, and tearing and deforming lanyards shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems
    • 1926.502(d)
      ''Personal fall arrest systems.' Personal fall arrest systems and their use shall comply with the provisions set forth below. Effective January 1, 1998, body belts are not acceptable as part of a personal fall arrest system. Note: The use of a body belt in a positioning device system is acceptable and is regulated under paragraph (e) of this section.
    • 1926.502(d)(16)
      Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall:
    • 1926.502(d)(16)(i)
      limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds (4 kN) when used with a body belt;
    • 1926.502(d)(16)(ii)
      limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kN) when used with a body harness;
    • 1926.502(d)(16)(iii)
      be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet (1.8 m), nor contact any lower level;
    • 1926.502(d)(16)(iv)
      bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet (1.07 m); and,
    • 1926.502(d)(16)(v)
      have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of an employee free falling a distance of 6 feet (1.8 m), or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less.
  • Ladders
    • 1926.1053(a)(18)
      Fixed ladders shall be provided with cages, wells, ladder safety devices, or self-retracting lifelines where the length of climb is less than 24 feet (7.3 m) but the top of the ladder is at a distance greater than 24 feet (7.3 m) above lower levels.
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)
      Where the total length of a climb equals or exceeds 24 feet (7.3 m), fixed ladders shall be equipped with one of the following:
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(i)
      Ladder safety devices; or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(ii)
      Self-retracting lifelines, and rest platforms at intervals not to exceed 150 feet (45.7 m); or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(iii)
      A cage or well, and multiple ladder sections, each ladder section not to exceed 50 feet (15.2 m) in length. Ladder sections shall be offset from adjacent sections, and landing platforms shall be provided at maximum intervals of 50 feet (15.2 m).

Did You Know?

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide prompt rescue of their workers in the event of a fall or assure that their workers are able to self rescue?