The overhead cranes found in many industrial settings are ideal for material handing applications, but their intended paths and operation often complicate the installation of fall arrest equipment. Central to any fall arrest system design is the anchor point, so when anchorage areas compete for space with an overhead crane, safety engineers rely on creative solutions so both systems can function properly. The key to this type of engineering challenge is achieving a balancing act between competing systems. Although each situation is different, crane bay fall arrest design criteria typically contains the following:
- The fall arrest system must allow for safe passage of the overhead crane when not in use.
- The fall arrest system should be easy to deploy when needed.
- Compliance with OSHA 1910 regulations for fall arrest.
In layman terms, all of these design considerations point to a fall arrest system that tucks away, or in our world, a rigid rail system with an articulating or fold away jib, or a trolley. The picture below illustrates an articulating rigid rail jib boom fall arrest system for a truck loading bay. When not in use, the booms are folded away to allow the overhead crane to pass through the area. To deploy this system, a worker on ground level uses a cord that is attached to the end of the jib to swing the system away from the wall and then locks the boom into position.
The second picture below illustrates an articulating trolley rail fall arrest system that hugs the wall when not in use, allowing that overhead crane to pass freely through the plant. When maintenance activities require fall arrest, the system folds out and away from the interior wall to provide fall protection.
One notable feature of both these fall arrest systems is their rigid rail design which minimizes deflection in the event of a fall. This type of system is used in areas with low fall clearance. Remember, the types of applications discussed in this post fall under General Industry provisions of OSHA 1910, which means personnel working at heights of 4 feet or more are required to use fall protection. A fall as little as four feet might not sound dangerous, but the results can be catastrophic or fatal. Keep your workers safe and keep your plant in compliance with OSHA fall protection regulations by discussing safety needs with a fall protection company.
Regardless of your crane’s unique path through the plant, or the foot-print of other equipment and additional crane bay obstructions , an engineered, fold away or articulating boom style fall arrest system can offer a perfect combination of OSHA compliance and productivity. To learn more about fold away or articulating jibs and trollies for fall arrest applications, or to discuss the specifics of your fall protection challenge, contact Diversified Fall Protection for further assistance.
Did you know……
All of Diversified Fall Protection’s Rigid Beam Fall Arrest Systems are designed and manufactured to ensure 7 Degrees of OSHA Compliance?