Tech Talk Blog

Portable Fall Protection Anchor Points

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We preach the ABCD’s of fall protection (Anchorage, Body Harness, Connecting Device, and Rescue/Descent) every day. The alphabet approach is an easy way to remind folks how to stay safe while working at heights, but putting the “A” of the ABC’s in place is often a challenge.  Here’s why…OSHA compliant fall protection anchor points come in two forms.  Non-certified anchor points require a load rating of 5,000 pounds while certified anchors (those designed by a qualified person) must be capable of sustaining twice the applied load in the event of a fall.  If we are dealing with a rooftop application, or an in-plant scenario, your fall protection provider can typically integrate the system into nearby structure to achieve the required load ratings.

Outside work complicates the situation.  If the work is repetitive in nature and confined to specific locations, we can install a series of gallows to support a horizontal lifeline (e.g., railcar applications) or the rigid rail systems commonly utilized to protect employees working on flat bed trailers.  For a more detailed discussion of why the gallows systems for these applications take different forms, be sure to check out our post titled “Why A Horizontal Lifeline May Be The Wrong Solution.”


The system above is designed for low fall clearance distances–and for repetitive loading/unloading operations that occur in a designated space.  Prior to the installation of the gallows, we wouldn’t have had structure from which to attach an anchor point.  When we have the luxury of designing and pouring concrete footers, it is possible to build overhead structure to serve as an anchor point.

When outside work at heights isn’t always performed at the same location, we recommend one of our portable fall protection systems.  The Exosphere shown below is an all terrain, remote controlled 4 wheel drive system that sets up in minutes.   In this case, workers don’t need to access the top of the transformer on a regular basis, but when emergency repairs or scheduled maintenance is required, a safe, OSHA compliant, portable anchor point is available.


Portable fall protection systems are also ideal solutions for inside applications where the work area shifts throughout the facility. A good example of this is the aircraft maintenance application shown below:


Most folks automatically assume that a hangar application calls for a rigid rail system and these solutions are quote common throughout the aviation market sector.  That said, use of rigid track fall protection systems is dependent upon precise placement of aircraft, as shown in the picture below:

The obvious advantage of the portable Exosphere system is portability–the system’s use does not depend on parking the aircraft at specific locations to ensure safe access for maintenance personnel.  In some cases, you’ll also see cost savings over permanently attached, overhead fall protection systems.

Both Exosphere units shown in this post feature a remote controlled, 4 wheel drive package, but we also offer indoor/outdoor push pull models as well as systems equipped for highway travel.  The video below shows how easily an Exosphere system equipped with our trailer package can travel from one location to the next:

*Standard Anchor Options
Part #Description
7070624" Single 360° Rail Rotation
7070754" Single 360° Rail Rotation
7069310" Triple 360° Rail Rotation
7070494" Single Extended 360° /180° Rail Rotation
7062394" Double Extended 360° /180° Rail Rotation
7070554" Quadruple 360° /180° Rail Rotation
*Custom Anchor Options Available Upon Request
* Standard Exosphere Mast Options
Part #Description
7061114' Four State Aluminum
18' Four Stage Aluminum
24' Four Stage Aluminum
7061430' Four Stage Aluminum
7061538' Four Stage Aluminum
* Custom Mast Configurations Available Upon Request
*Standard Mounting Bracket Options
Part #
Permanent Vertical
Foldable Manual
Foldable Hydraulic
*Custom Mounting Bracket Options Available Upon Request
*Standard Exosphere Cube Base Options
Part #
6,740 lbs, Cube With Concrete
4,790 lbs., Used With #70691 and 70497 Only
3,350 Lbs., Used With #70691 Only
*Custom Cube Base Options Available Upon Request
*Standard Lifting Power Device Options
Part #
Manual Hydraulic
110/220 Hydraulic
12V Hydraulic
*Custom Lifting Options Available Upon Request
*Standard Stabilized Transportation Packages
Part #
Regular: For Concrete
Wide: For Soft Terrain
Leveling Kit
Push/Pull Indoor Heavy Duty
Push/Pull Outdoor Heavy Duty
Push/Pull Non-Marking Tires
Heavy Duty Self-Propelled 4 x 4 Honda Engine
Highway Trailer
*Custom Transportation Bases Available Upon Request

Working at heights begins with a safe anchorage, but don’t let the lack of suitable overhead structure or infrequent maintenance activities at random locations discourage you from seeking a viable fall protection solution.  Our complete line of portable fall protection systems will keep your personnel safe regardless of the application.  To learn more about portable solutions, discuss an application, or request pricing, contact the safety experts at Diversified Fall Protection for further assistance.

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Did You Know?

That any fall protection system must be engineered for two times the applied load in the event of a fall?