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Fall Protection for Railcar Loading and Unloading

Slippery tank cars, rain and snow covered ladder rungs and railings, and variable loading platform shapes all expose your workers to significant fall hazards while loading and unloading rail cars. Keeping your workers safe requires a comprehensive fall prevention strategy, which includes the proper mix of fall protection equipment, personnel training, and partnering with a fall protection company that appreciates the unique nature of the potential fall hazards associated with your industry.

We are a complete turnkey provider of rail car loading and unloading fall protection systems and have 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

Fall Protection Solutions

Design Considerations

Rail Car Loading and Unloading Fall Protection Design Considerations

Although elevated catwalk and gangway systems, fixed platforms, and climbing up the back or side ladder are all common, from a best practices standpoint, use of an elevated platform with a fold down gangway that allows an individual to be elevated to the height of the top of the railcar is preferred. Railroad personnel are protected by a guardrail while attaching their SRL and walking down the gangway to access the top of the railcar.

Access platform and gangways are often used in conjunction with rigid beam trolley or tram systems, which allows for a high degree of mobility. The overhead trolley system relies on a supported beam running parallel to the track covering a span near and at loading areas. The supporting beam allows for a continuous attachment for a lifeline lanyard and body harness. Typically, an articulated arm system supports an overhead rigid rail. Based on the needs of your facility we will put the support on either side of the track. Alternatively, a cantilevered support arm allows the overhead lifeline trolley to mount between two parallel tracks providing overhead safety attachment for two railcar lines.

Installation of the fall protection equipment for rail car and tanker loading and unloading must not interfere with rail traffic. Due to the individual design and fabrication of each system, we can alter the course of the overhead beam to match unusual layout configurations or work around physical obstructions.

Our years of experience in railcar and tanker loading and unloading applications will help us implement a turnkey fall protection system that keeps your employees safe and your facility compliance with all OSHA regulations.

OSHA Regulations

  • Horizontal Lifelines
    • 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.
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems
    • 1926.502(d)(16)
      Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall:
    • 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.

Talk to a fall protection specialist

Tell us about your fall protection needs, and we’ll configure a system that rises to your challenges.