Typical safety rails are not suitable for many dangerous zones in an industrial plant. Such dangerous zones ask for rigid rail systems to prevent accidental falls. A fall arrest system is a type of fall protection system that stops the person from falling.
A rigid rail fall arrest system comprises the following components:
- Anchor – an anchor trolley runs along within an enclosed track system.
- Body device – the user wears a body harness.
- Connecting device – it is a self-retracting or shock-absorbing lanyard attached to the body harness and the anchor trolley.
A rigid rail fall arrest system needs to have these mandatory components.
However, before selecting the right rail fall arrest system for your workplace, here are some factors to consider.
- Coverage Area and Hook Distance
The coverage area and the hook distance are two critical aspects of rigid rail systems. Companies that want to go for rigid rail systems for their industrial plants must first specify the required coverage area and hook distance. To gather this information, you need to know the hazardous locations in your facility that need a rigid rail system.
After identifying those areas, you need to calculate the width, height, and length. The fall arrest angle is essential when choosing a rigid rail system. Safety experts say that the fall protection system should not exceed 15 degrees vertically. To get the correct working angle, measure the reach on both sides and use the Fall Arrest Angle Degree Chart to know the right working angle the rigid rail system should support.
- Worker Capacity
The next step involves finding the worker rating for your system. The worker rating refers to the number of workers attached to the rigid rail system at any given time. When determining the worker rating, you also need to consider whether your workers will pass each other while performing their duties at that specific location.
The rigid rail system offers 900 pounds of maximum arresting force. If the arresting force is less than 900 pounds on each worker, the probability of an injury in the event of a fall is less. The rigid rail system should have 310 pounds maximum workload capacity per user per OSHA standards. It means most fall protection systems undergo simulation tests to arrest the fall of 310-pound workers. However, if the working load exceeds 310 pounds, you need a rigid rail system with a higher rating or some special equipment to support the additional load.
- Mobile or Permanent Fall Protection
The type of application determines whether you need a mobile or permanent fall protection system in your industrial plant. Permanent fall protection systems can be installed on the ground, walls, or ceilings to provide a constant fall protection solution. Before going for a permanent fall protection system, make sure there are no obstructions that will prevent the mounting of a continuous system in the area.
Mobile fall protection systems are ideal for temporary work locations. These fall protection systems can be moved with the help of workers, heavy-duty pickup trucks, or forklifts to the desired location.
Mobile fall protection systems do not require any foundation or mounting to set up a fall protection system. They provide the reliability of rigid rail systems along with convenience. Before moving the mobile fall protection system to any place, make sure there is enough area to place the portable base and cover the area.
Therefore, choosing the right rigid rail fall arrest system is essential for every workplace. But there are certain vital factors to consider before making a decision.