I have been asked to provide any information available on fall protection
methods/equipment for telecommunication work-Working on towers, not
constructing but maintaining. Another piece of this would include working on
residential homes while placing satellite dishes, something we are doing more
often. Can you think of any information on safe work practices, etc., which
you have seen that might help?
EFSS is very much interested in this field with several projects behind us with regard to both construction and maintenance. Climbing is one obvious one, work positioning and local FAS is another, add rescue protocols and that’s about it. Now think about the hoisting of personnel over 200 ft CPL and the special hoist requirements.
What do you need next, some stories of fatality?
Eventually it boils down to who controls the cowboy in each worker and inter-relationships that form obstructions to safety performance that must be dug out in the bar because training by itself won’t do it – it’s just a game to many of them at this time.
We presently have to climb on certain critical pumps and motors to do flush tests or take oil samples. We have installed some temporary fall arrest equipment. We are looking at other options.
Recommended options have included the following:
- Use of temporary platforms, scaffolding as necessary. However, these
areas are rather tight for this application.
- Engineering Modifications to the equipment. The disadvantage is that this
would be costly.
- Other plants have mentioned to us that they take credit for utilizing
spotters to insure that personnel are safe. I believe this is kind of like
utilizing spotters when using a trampoline. I have not seen anything in
writing that allows the use of spotters, is it okay to do this as an option?
You are right I believe, spotters have very little place in industry.
However, there are some facilities where it may make sense for a very unique
application – see later.
“Critical pumps and motors” implies a predictable need to be in certain
locations. This is a nuclear plant and fixed equipment is piled into areas in
a way that is not found in other types of industry. Hence adding other
barriers to fill in gaps and holes becomes a feasibility issue; scaffold poles
are not adaptable for awkward spaces.
How about a human factors approach to resolve the equipment factors? The body
needs a certain area to function and certain tools need to be available.
Rescue needs to be prompt if necessary to meet OSHA requirements should a fall
occur. Ladders need to have horizontal handholds (rungs) and also the same for
walkthroughs. For reasons check GrabSafe for ladders on this web site. SRL’s
suspended overhead can take care of fall protection on certain ladders that jog.
The next issue is the access itself for the specific pump or motor. Apply the
Fall Protection and Access Hierarchies found in my textbook Introduction to
Fall Protection, 3rd Edition available on this website.
What have I missed? Let me know!
PS: My experience in nuclear to date is Peachbottom 2 and Fermi 2 and Salem 1 & 2
Is the EFSS tower climber class OSHA approved?
The EFSS tower class meets OSHA requirements for 1926.503 and 1926.1060.
EFSS CEO J. Nigel Ellis was the originator of the OSHA Training Institute
Class for Fall Arrest. Our training director will respond to your need for a
class that can best be done at your site to use local hazards and conditions.
Thank you for the opportunity to be of assistance.
Please let me know if you have any information on fall protection regulations for rides above ground. I am interested in developing a prototype safety handbook.
I have not seen any such regulations, however if you provide specific information about the rides I can help.
For example, the design of access for rollercoasters for inspection and maintenance is necessary at the design stage.
I would like your opinion/recommendations and/or is there any
documented information on how much tree work can be performed safely from a step ladder or even scarier, an orchard ladder. I have found that while using pruning or lopping tools which require both hands, I don’t have have a confident feeling about my balance especially when I am 10 feet in the air reaching, and
exerting force on the cutting tool, while standing on a step that is narrower than the length of my foot. I am on a safety committee for a municipality that has no fall prevention program and I will be involved in the design and implementation process.
Step ladders are best used on a flat surface with no obstructions in the path of climb and with four firm points of contact.
Leaning a step ladder against a tree trunk subjects a user to sudden shifts from unreliable contact with the tree and ground and the result can be loss
Orchard ladders fit into the crotch of the tree trunk better than other straight ladders and are used extensively in fruit-harvesting.
Tree work requires flexibility and adaptability of position and subjects a ladder user to the likelihood of falls. Ladders may simply be the wrong tool
for access. The larger tree firms use aerial lifts which can deliver this flexibility of position and reach provided there is stable ground near the tree being worked for vehicle approach. The use of remote tools is growing and should be practical for low trimming work.
What do you all know about rugs/mats that absorb water and
stay put!? We have the dialysis population that are unsteady on their feet anyway, then they have sinks where they wash their access arms and hands [hopefully] then after that they step over to the scales to weigh. We are looking for mats that can absorb the water and not leave their shoes slippier; not shift as they walk away and that don’t turn up on the corners causing tripping!
Thanks so much for your help ~
First some of your experience of what happens now:
Do you own mats or does a service replace them regularly – how often are mats replaced?
What is the quality or condition of the mats you have now? (e.g. are they old, curled or rippled).
What does the manufacturer of the mats say you should expect from them?
How large are the mats? How thick are the mats? What edge treatment do your mats presently have?
Do you need a floor or grating system with drainage instead of mats?
Have you looked at the ASTM standard on mats?
What do you think will solve the problem?
Q. part 1:
I was wondering if you have ever heard of a type of alarm that could be hooked to the fall protection system so that if say the line that you are hooked up to became tight, that it would alarm in a control room? Say if you fell and the weight of your body would set off a sensor attached to the line.
Q. part 2:
Well, what I was thinking in our situation where the wire is in a fixed location. It would be easy to hook it to the arresting wire. The alarm could go off in a control room. It would just be a matter of wearing the
harness then. If you fell, it would tighten the wire that your harness is attached to and it would set off the alarm. So the people using the harness
would not have to do anything but where their harness and then latch in.
I was wondering if you have ever heard of a type of alarm that could be
hooked to the fall protection system so that if say the line that you
are hooked up to became tight, that it would alarm in a control room?
Say if you fell and the weight of your body would set off a sensor
attached to the line.
A. part 1:
Yes, sounds feasible to me. This could be a horizontal lifeline or a vertical lifeline wireless remote with a trigger tension set by a competent person. Does this device exist?
Read the new Z359.4 Retrieval standard due out this month from ASSE. Could be good timing.
A. part 2:
There was a device 10-15 years ago for use in aerial lifts
that would not operate unless the lanyard was attached.
I think the concept you present is a good one for a simple robust
device. Selling it would be interesting; getting workers to use it as an add-on device would be a challenge; integrating it might be costly.