Silo and Tower Fall Protection

Fall Protection Systems for Chemical, Petrochemical, and Refinery Towers and Silos

Silos and towers used in the chemical, petrochemical and refinery industries  present a number of fall protection and confined space hazards to personnel charged with their maintenance, inspection, and repair.  Workers climbing from the ground level to access monitoring instrumentation and loading equipment located at the top of the silo or tower and personnel charged with performing maintenance inside the storage area require comprehensive fall protection and confined space and rescue systems.  Partnering with a fall protection company that understands the fall hazards and confined space issues presented by silos and towers used by your industry is vital to keeping your employees safe and your facility in compliance with all OSHA safety regulations.

Silo and Tower Fall Protection
Silo and Tower Fall Protection
Silo and Tower Fall Protection
Silo and Tower Fall Protection
Silo and Tower Fall Protection
Silo and Tower Fall Protection
Silo and Tower Fall Protection
Silo and Tower Fall Protection

We are a complete turnkey provider of fall protection systems designed for silos and towers for chemical, petrochemical, and refinery applications and have the years of design and installation experience in this market sector.  Contact us for expert assistance with your fall arrest, fall restraint and fall protection requirements.

Design Considerations

The vertical storage characteristics of industrial silos and bulk storage towers can lead to the build-up of pressure and heat, which left unchecked, may result in an explosion.  Silos and towers utilize fans and related equipment designed to keep the stored material from settling.  Maintenance personnel use ladder systems to monitor the moisture, heat, gas, and pressure levels from the top of the silo.  In addition to the fall hazards presented by the ladder system, service personnel may fall from the top of the silo, or through the access panel into the storage area itself.  Although most silos have internal escape hatches at their base, workers can suffocate attempting their own rescue.  Explosion risks, fall hazards, and confined space issues combine to make silos and storage towers extremely dangerous work areas.

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.
  • 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).
    • 1926.1053(a)(20)
      Cages for fixed ladders shall conform to all of the following:

Did You Know?

Any fall protection anchor must be independent of any anchorage used to support or suspend platforms?