Tech Talk Blog

Reasons to Consider a Rigid Rail Fall Arrest System

When assessing a fall arrest application, two of the most important considerations include clearance distances and the availability of a suitable anchor point.  There are always additional factors to consider, including the number of users and the size of the work area, but fall clearance and anchorage represent the starting points in personal fall arrest system (PFAS) design.

OSHA General Industry Regulations require fall protection for personnel exposed to fall hazards greater than four feet, but what are the available options when a fall must be arrested quickly to prevent a worker from striking the ground?  One option is a rigid rail or trolley beam fall arrest system.  Unlike a horizontal lifeline, a rigid rail fall arrest system paired with self-retracting lifelines offers a significant reduction in deflection, which in turn reduces required clearance distances during fall arrest.  A trolley beam system often meets our first criteria–quickly stopping a fall with minimal clearance distance–but locating adequate anchoring structure is often problematic.

Anchorage requirements for rigid systems pose two distinct challenges.  First, the I-beams we connect the system to must be strong enough to support the system–and to withstand the loads imposed by a fall.  Secondly, the installers need access to the I-Beams to make the required connections.   HVAC ductwork, electrical conduit, water pipes, and gas lines (also known as MEP) often clutter overhead areas found in industrial facilities.

Overcoming these challenges—low fall clearance distances and cluttered overhead spaces—requires an engineering oriented approach to fall protection, and our work with a major manufacturer is case in point.

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Learning More About Rooftop and Loading Dock Fall Protection – New LORGATE and LORGUARD Literature Now Available

LORGUARD TileAt Diversified Fall Protection, we are committed to teaching our clients about important ways to mitigate rooftop and loading dock falls in their facilities. We teach via in-person visits, through our websites (www.FallProtect.com and www.PortableGuardRail.com), video, and a variety of printed materials.

Although many of our clients associate the DFP brand with custom-engineered fall protection systems, we also offer a line of pre-engineered, OSHA compliant fall protection solutions designed for rooftop and loading dock applications.   LORGUARD is a non-penetrating, free standing rooftop guardrail system that is designed both for temporary and permanent application.  Diversified Fall Protection also offers LORGATE, a rolling loading dock safety gate that protects the leading edges found in shipping and receiving areas.  We just released four new pieces of literature describing the uses and benefits of these innovative fall protection systems:

Each of these pieces is in a PDF format that allows users to save the information to their computers or print the deliverables out for later reference. For pricing information, or to place a LORGUARD or LORGATE purchase online, please visit our e-commerce enabled website, www.PortableGuardRail.com.

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What Is Your Company’s Culture of Safety?

We had a recent opportunity to address safety issues with the C-level management team for a well-known Fortune 100 company.  During the discussion, we shared a sobering statistic:  an average of 12 US workers fail to return home each day due to workplace accidents.  We then brought the issue home by posing a simple question:  How would you feel if your son, daughter, spouse, or other family member belonged to this unlucky group?

The room was swept by a long pregnant pause.  After an awkward moment of silence, we followed up with another question:  what is your company’s position on safety?  The president of the company finally broke the ice, insisting his organization was committed to a culture of safety.  We hear these words often, and it makes sense—what C-level manager would claim otherwise, but what does this phrase mean?  Many companies have a reactive policy toward safety.  Simply put, investments in safety systems come on the heels of an accident or an OSHA citation.  A proactive safety stance requires regular site assessments by outside experts to determine the nature and location of unsafe working conditions. 

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Horizontal Lifeline Installation: Flat, Standing Seam Metal Roof

OSHA Compliant Horizontal Lifeline

Diversified Fall Protection recently installed a horizontal lifeline system (also known as an HLL or HLL system) on a flat standing seam roof for a State Highway Patrol facility in Columbus, Ohio.  Periodic inspection and maintenance of rooftop HVAC equipment and communication towers create potential fall hazards for building maintenance staff and contractors working during wet, windy, snowy, and icy conditions.

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Fall Protection: How Much Will It Save You?

OSHA offers a calculator called “$afety Pays” which helps estimate cost gains realized through the prevention of occupational injuries due to falls. Businesses can use this information to predict the direct and indirect costs of injuries and the sales needed to compensate for these losses. 

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Did You Know?

In 2015, Fall Protection was ranked number one as the most frequently cited OSHA standards violation?