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Fall Protection & Fall Arrest Systems for the Refinery Industry

The miles of piping and pipe racks associated with oil and gas refineries are in need of constant repair, maintenance, painting, and pipe re-routing, exposing workers to fall hazards when adequate fall protection is not in place. Most of this work is done at heights, with few or no structural elements overhead from which to install fall protection. Although some some sections of pipe rack require regular, routine maintenance and inspection, your refinery may also have sections of pipe that are only visited every ten years. As a safety director, how do you balance OSHA compliance and protection of maintenance personnel with the need to provide cost effective fall protection for enormous lengths of exposed pipe?

We are a complete turnkey provider of fall protection systems designed for the refinery industry 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.

Fall Protection Solutions

Design Considerations

Oil and Gas Refinery Industry Fall Protection Design Considerations

Refinery pipe rack systems present miles of elevated, tiered, and compressed walking surfaces that are best protected with horizontal lifeline systems, or in some instances, beam gliders that attach to the structure supporting the racks.  Because the top tier of a refinery pipe rack system lacks necessary overhead structure to attach a horizontal lifeline for fall arrest, support beams must also be fabricated and installed.  Great care must also be taken to provide safe footing in refinery areas prone to leaks.

Most refineries also have areas requiring infrequent maintenance that make installation of a permanent fall arrest impractical or economically unfeasible.  In these areas, choker cable tie off systems may be an acceptable, cost-effective alternative to a permanent fall protection system.

Our years of experience in the refining industry, installation expertise, and awareness of your unique access will help us implement a fall protection system that keeps your employees safe and your refinery in compliance with all OSHA regulations.

OSHA Regulations

    • 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:

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