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Q2 OSHA Fall Protection Citations

Enforcement Activity releases during the second quarter amount to over $3 million in OSHA fall protection citations. Many of the citations were the result of inspections initiated through the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation remain the leading cause of death for construction workers.

Q2 OSHA Fall Protection Citations
Q2 OSHA Fall Protection Citations

$51,952 in penalties for Action Roofing Services, Inc based in Pompano Beach, Florida – OSHA initiated an inspection as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction, resulting in citing Action Roofing Services for allowing employees to engage in roofing activities without a conventional fall protection system. This is the third such citation for the company in the past three years.

$37,591 in penalties for Detyens Shipyards, Inc in North Charleston, South Carolina – A shackle fatally struck an employee during a lifting operation prompting an OSHA inspection. OSHA cited the shipyard for failing to ensure employees used a fall protection system when working at heights and failure to retrain employees exposed to fall hazards. Additionally, the shipyard was cited for exposing employees to caught-between hazards by allowing them to enter between a guardrail and a rudder shaft while it was being lifted.

$1,997,125 in penalties over five investigations of BB Frame LLC (Frame Q & Juan Quevedo) in New Jersey – After conducting five investigations beginning in December 2019, the framing contractor is facing over $2 million in penalties and delinquency fees. The company was under indictment for failure to pay $678,053 in civil penalties and delinquency fees after dozens of violations in four years including lack of fall protection and ladder safety. A complaint investigation initiated in December resulted in nine additional safety violations and $520,860 in proposed penalties. Another investigation at a separate worksite resulted in five citations and $426,785 in proposed penalties. Three additional investigations this year (two as part of local emphasis program for fall hazards and one as a result of a complaint) added 16 more citations totaling $1,049,480 in penalties.

$199,711 in penalties for CJM Roofting Inc for citations at three residential worksites in Florida – OSHA inspectors observed employees working on roofs without fall protection during inspections at three residential worksites as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. CJM was cited for failing to provide a fall protection system, failure to ensure that portable ladders extend above the upper landing, and failure to conduct regular inspections of the job site to identify safety hazards. The company has been inspected by OSHA eight times in the past five years, resulting in repeat violations of the fall protection standard.

$126,169 in penalties for CMR Construction & Roofing LLC and Modern Construction Experts in Panama City, Florida – After an employee died after an 84-foot fall while working on the roof of a hotel, OSHA cited contractors for failing to provide employees with a fall protection system while working from heights. Both contractors were cited as repeat violations under 29CFR 1926.501 which states that each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges six feet or more above lower levels must be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.

$148,264 in proposed penalties for AA&B Builders Inc and Ebenezer General Construction Excavating in Ewing, New Jersey – An inspection initiated as part of a local emphasis program for fall hazards in construction revealed employees working while exposed to hazards involving falls, electrical cords, and scaffolding on the job site. OSHA cited AA&B Builders for four repeat and six serious violations for the safety hazards and proposed $97,542 in penalties. OSHA cited Ebenezer for 10 serious violations and proposed $50,722 in penalties.

$140,720 in penalties for Pegasus Tower Co in Starkville, Mississippi – After an employee suffered a fatal fall from a communications tower, OSHA cited an Arkansas-based company for failing to ensure employees used fall protection and failure to designate, identify, and train employees to provide rescue in the event of an emergency. OSHA provides an online resource for appropriate fall protection and requirements employers must follow to ensure the safety of workers who climb telecommunications towers.

$44,146 in penalties for contractors Prestige Estates Property Management and Jesus Balbuena of Miami, Florida – An investigation followed an employee fatality after falling 20 feet from an aerial lift. OSHA cited the contractors for failing to ensure the use of a fall protection system to protect workers on an aerial lift, failure to train employees to recognize and avoid fall hazards, and failure to develop and implement an accident prevention program. Additionally, Prestige Estates was cited for failing to report a hospitalization within 24 hours and a fatality within 8 hours, as required.

$134,937 in penalties for Crown Roofing LLC in Tamarac, Florida – OSHA initiated an inspection as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls In Construction and observed employees working on roofs without fall protection. OSHA has inspected Crown Roofing 18 times in the past six years, with 12 of the inspections resulting in repeat violations of the fall protection standard.

$170,020 in penalties for Martin-Penero CPM LLC, construction contractor for 1-285 Highway Project – An inspection initiated after an employee suffered a fatal injury in a fall while installing metal decking revealed a failure in fall protection compliance. OSHA cited the contractor for failing to ensure employees used a horizontal lifeline system and fall protection as required. Additionally, the contractor was cited for failing to secure metal decking before allowing workers to use it as a walking surface, failure to provide fall protection training, and failure to conduct job site inspections.

$315,536 in citations for 10 companies in New Orleans Construction Collapse – As a result of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site collapse in downtown New Orleans, three workers died and 18 others suffered serious injuries. OSHA’s investigation resulted in a variety of citations, including inadequate fall hazard training and hazards, collectively resulting in $315,536 in penalties across the engineering firm, general contractor, steel erector, and 8 additional subcontractors.

Fall Protection Systems is committed workplace fall safety and partnering with you to resolve workplace fall hazards. With well over 10,000 customers served, our team of fall protection specialists, engineers, and certified technicians are experts in turnkey experiences including identifying, designing, manufacturing, and installing fall protection solutions. FPS offers only the most reliable equipment to get your construction job finished effectively and safely and all of our solutions are OSHA and ANSI compliant.

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Everything Tanker Truck Fall Protection

While making significant investments in the size, flexibility, and compliance of their storage facilities, KMTEX prioritized the safety of their staff and operations. KMTEX is the largest toll distillation provider in the Gulf Coast with high volume of barge, rail, and truck loading and unloading operations. As the nationwide leader in fall hazard solutions, specializing in barge, rail, and truck fall protection, FPS partnered with KMTEX to secure their operations.

Everything Tanker Truck Fall Protection
Everything Tanker Truck Fall Protection

An FPS Fall Protection Specialist visited the facility to perform an onsite analysis that included site mapping and documenting operations and obstacles. The goal of this project was to provide overhead fall protection for tank truck loading and unloading stations that would secure multiple users performing operations together.  It was important that the system be durable while matching the aesthetic of the facility. The onsite analysis revealed obstacles including overhead pipe racks, flammable materials in the area, and potential underground obstructions. After review, our engineering team recommended the installation of our L-Series fall protection units with a galvanized finish.  Our L-Series fall protection systems include our patented TD3 Truss overhead trolley rail secured to support columns, providing the safest in fall arrest with a minimal footprint. Installation included systems from 90 to 150 feet in overhead fall protection coverage for up to 3 users per unit.

 William McConnell, President of KMTEX, shared his satisfaction with the Fall Protection Systems turnkey experience, “Our company recognized the need to better protect workers while loading and unloading tank trucks.  Fall Protection Systems made a proposal that fit our needs.  Our site’s standard for new construction is two-fold.  New installations need to look good and they need to work.  The new system meets that standard.  We have been very happy with the results.  It has become an integral part of our work process.  Installation and startup of the system was professional.  KMTEX is well satisfied with the overall performance of Fall Protection Systems as a company.”

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10 Steps to Build Safe Workplaces

Preventing workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths is the priority of employers and advocates nationwide and the focus of June as National Safety Month. There are many resources for improving safety culture and getting everyone invested in performing work safely. OSHA recommends 10 simple steps to build safe workplaces through safety and health programs.

10 Steps to Build Safe Workplaces
10 Steps to Build Safe Workplaces

Set safety and health as a top priority. A strong safety culture means ensuring that everyone performs operations and finishes the day safely as the only acceptable way to do business.

Lead by example. Top-down, everyone is practicing safe behaviors and resolving hazards.

Implement a reporting system. Collaborate with representatives from all levels of your business to develop and implement a simple procedure for reporting any and all injuries, illnesses, incidents, hazards or safety and health concerns, including near misses. An anonymous reporting option should be available to help ease concerns of retaliation.

Provide Training. Train and re-train workers on how to identify and control hazards, how to safely perform operations, and how to properly use safety and personal protection equipment.

Conduct Inspections. Set up recurring inspection walks of your facility. Engage representatives from all levels and operations to identify any activity, equipment, or material of concern. Follow through with resolution of concerns and schedule qualified inspections where necessary.

Collect hazard control ideas. Routinely ask workers at all levels for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Encourage their effort in researching and sharing ideas on solutions.

Implement hazard controls. Recognize experience and operational expertise by allowing workers to be in charge of choosing, implementing, and evaluating applicable hazard solution suggestions.

Address emergencies. Collaborate with representatives to create crisis plans. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop procedures on response instructions and responsible parties. Post plans in a readily accessible area for a prompt response.

Seek input on workplace changes. Before making significant changes to the workplace, operations, equipment, or materials, consult with applicable workers to identify potential safety or health concerns.

Make Improvements. Hold routine safety and health meetings with the goal of reviewing prior initiatives and identifying program improvements.

Fall Protection Systems is committed workplace fall safety and partnering with you to resolve workplace fall hazards. With well over 10,000 customers served, our team of fall protection specialists, engineers, and certified technicians are experts in turnkey experiences including identifying, designing, manufacturing, and installing fall protection solutions. You can be assured your solution distinctly matches your facility and operation needs and is designed for the highest level of fall safety. 

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Get to Know Portable Fall Protection

For nine years running, fall protection violations remain the #1 most frequent OSHA citation. Injuries and fatalities from falls remain a too common occurrence on the job. OSHA requires fall protection anywhere workers are exposed to falls of four feet or more to a lower level.  Get to know how portable fall protection may be the right solution to eliminate fall hazards at your facility.

Get to Know Portable Fall Protection
Get to Know Portable Fall Protection

Overhead fall protection systems provide the safest fall arrest, limiting a worker’s fall to less than two feet. Custom-engineering can be necessary for overhead fall protection for more complicated facilities or applications. If your worksite is free from overhead obstruction and you are covering a single point of operation, portable fall protection may provide a cost-effective solution.

Portable fall protection is available as a trolley rail or single-point attachment in a variety of certified engineered options. These solutions are ideal for temporary fall protection in a wide variety of locations. Each is designed to be transportable from one area to another throughout your facility. 

Our patented truss-supported trolley rail is available as a skid or trailer-mounted kit provided with a support column and components necessary for self-assembly. Our industry-leading five-year warranty covers our P-Series fall protection systems which are available as 20′, 40′, or 60′ foot options. There is also a single point attachment overhead beam option available. 

In addition to our patented P-series line, we provide portable fall protection solutions including overhead rotational boom anchors, adjustment height jibs, hitch-mounted anchors, and portable frame-based horizontal rails.

  • Overhead rotational boom anchors provide 360-degree coverage, moving in the direction of the worker to increase mobility. It utilizes vehicle weight to secure and provide counter-balance.
  • Adjustment height jibs are modular systems allowing for multiple configurations. Provides 360-degree mast rotation with locking pin holes every 11 degrees. Multiple base options are available for both portable or mountable installations.
  • Hitch-mounted anchors are steel adjustable anchors for indoor or outdoor use. Provides a 360-degree work area from the anchorage point. Secured to a mobile unit that can be towed.
  • A-, C- or Box frame horizontal rail systems offer versatile fall arrest designed to be moved manually or with the use of a tow bar and a service vehicle. The systems are easily transported from one position to another and fit snugly around a variety of vehicles including trucks, rail cars, and aircraft.
  • Portable Fall Protection Kits – Variety of anchor point systems available from skid-mounted truss-supported trolley rail to portable horizontal frame systems.

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Guardrail Fall Protection Versatility

Guardrail systems are a popular solution to resolve a wide variety of industrial fall hazards. Manufactured with choices of permanent installation or portability, coverage lengths and configurations, toe board accessories, and even different finishes, guardrail fall protection allows for versatility in use with a durability you can trust to prevent falls at your facility.

Guardrail Fall Protection Versatility
Guardrail Fall Protection Versatility

Guardrail systems, both permanent and portable, are easily configured to accommodate your specific site needs and unique applications. Most effective protecting from falls to a lower level, providing barriers from hazardous areas or equipment, or providing safe walking access, common hazards protected include:

  • Mezzanines
  • Platforms
  • Loading Docks
  • Rooftops
  • Ladder ways
  • Stairs
  • Hatchways
  • Floor Openings
  • Structural Obstructions
  • Industrial Equipment

The portability of modular guardrail systems provides fall protection for temporary applications. These non-penetrating guardrail systems use weighted bases or clamps attached to existing structures. These are particularly useful for construction sites to protect workers from floor or ground openings including open edges or trenches and are easily transportable from project to project.

OSHA’s Walking-Working Surface standard for fall protection systems (1910.29) provides details on the manufacture and use of guardrail systems for fall hazard resolution and include:

  • Top edge height of guardrails must be 42 inches (+/- 3 inches) above the walking-working surface
  • Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, or equivalent material must be installed between the walking-working surface and the top edge of the guardrail system when there is not a wall or parapet that is at least 21 inches high. They must be capable of withstanding a force of at least 150 lbs.
  • Guardrail systems must be capable of withstanding a force of at least 200 lbs and may not deflect with that force to a height less than 39 inches above the walking-working surface.
  • Guardrail systems must be smooth surfaced and contiguous (no extension of rail beyond terminal posts) to protect from injuries such as punctures or lacerations and to prevent catching or snagging.
  • When used around holes that are points of access, a self-closing safety gate is required.

Implementing guardrail fall protection does not provide fall arrest. While OSHA provides manufacturing and installation guidelines to prevent fall-overs or fall-throughs, guardrails will not arrest a fallen worker. In the event of a fall, fall arrest systems using harnesses, self-retracting or shock-absorbing lanyards, and anchor points are the safest form of protection.

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Building Strong Safety Cultures

A key topic during this year’s National Safety Month is building strong safety cultures. Having a strong safety culture keeps everyone on your workforce engaged in keeping themselves and one another safe during operations. From the National Safety Council (NSC), here are tips for talking safety:

Building Strong Safety Cultures
Building Strong Safety Cultures

Retire the ‘safety police’. The ‘gotcha’ approach is counterproductive, experts say. When workers feel they’re being policed, they find ways to hide their unsafe behaviors, resulting in lost opportunities for improvement. To make a genuine, long-term impact, take a persuasive approach rather than a punitive one.

Speak the worker’s language. Instead of presenting the information in the way that makes the most sense to the speaker, consider how the worker will receive it. Before saying anything, take a moment to think about who is being spoken to and what he or she cares about, and tailor the conversation to speak to those motivations. And remember: good communication goes both ways. Instead of doing all the talking, listen to what workers have to say – especially any questions or objections they bring up – which can reveal their motivations.

Demonstrate care and concern. By far, the greatest reason to give a worker for adopting a safe behavior is concern for his or her well-being, and the best way to avoid the appearance of lecturing is to show concern for that person. Be calm and keep emotions in check to help send the right message.

Focus on specifics. To avoid expressing judgement or disapproval and provoking a defensive reaction, limit comments to the precise unsafe behaviors or conditions that were witnessed.

Get (and give) permission. If you’re concerned that well-intentioned advice will come off as intrusive, it may help to set the stage for the safety conversation beforehand.

Lead by example and encourage others to do the same. Workers tend to do what those around them are doing, so it’s essential to demonstrate safe behaviors in addition to talking about them.

A strong safety culture is critical to avoiding workplace injuries and fatalities. In addition to the tips from the NSC, make your safety culture one of collaboration. Encourage your front-line workers to identify hazards throughout their tasks. Commit to reviewing and resolving those hazards. Invest in your employees by investing in the safety and personal protective equipment necessary to mitigate or even eliminate those hazards.

Fall Protection Systems is committed workplace fall safety and partnering with you to resolve workplace fall hazards. With well over 10,000 customers served, our team of fall protection specialists, engineers, and certified technicians are experts in turnkey experiences including identifying, designing, manufacturing, and installing fall protection solutions. You can be assured your solution distinctly matches your facility and operation needs and is designed for the highest level of fall safety. 

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Everything Evolving Operations Fall Protection

A farm supply facility had a fall protection system that covered a single rail car for workers needing to access the top of hopper rail cars to unload product. As their operations and fall protection standards evolved, a new system with extended use and safer features was needed.

Everything Evolving Operations Fall Protection
Everything Evolving Operations Fall Protection

As part of our turnkey solution experience, our Fall Protection Specialist visited on-site to learn about operations, identify hazards, and take measurements. Soil and sonar testing were completed to map underground piping or utility lines that may pose obstructions during installation. Our engineering team reviewed the onsite analysis information and updated fall protection standards as they designed a Professional Engineer Seal (PE Seal) system. The solution required connection of the system to the loading shed, within the constraints between the roadway and the rail track. Additionally, galvanized steel staircases, platforms, and drop down gangways were incorporated, providing safe access when connecting to our patented TD3 truss beam rigid rail fall protection system.

The system was installed by our certified technicians and the completed project provided safe access to work at height operations with extended coverage. The success of the project and resolved safety concerns are being shared with other facilities for future safety upgrade considerations. Their Safety and Health Manager shared their satisfaction with their turnkey experience, saying, “From their responsive team members, quick turnaround time, and professional installation; I wouldn’t hesitate to utilize the other services they provide as well”.

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$11.5M Available in Worker Safety Grants

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the availability of $11.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants for nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes, and colleges and universities.

$11.5M Available in Worker Safety Grants
$11.5M Available in Worker Safety Grants

The Harwood Training Grant program supports in-person, hands-on training for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness, and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers, who are underserved, have limited English proficiency, or are temporary workers. The grants will fund training and education to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards, including the coronavirus, through the following funding opportunities categories:

  • Targeted Topic Training grants support educational programs that address identifying and preventing workplace hazards. These grants require applicants to conduct training on OSHA-designated workplace safety and health hazards;
  • Training and Educational Materials Development grants support the development of quality classroom-ready training and educational materials that focus on identifying and preventing workplace hazards; and
  • Capacity Building grants support organizations in developing new capacity for conducting workplace safety and health training programs and must provide training and education based on identified needs of a specific audience or a set of related topics.

More information on the grants and how to apply are available at www.grants.gov. Harwood applications must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 20, 2020. Applicants must possess a “D-U-N-S” number and have an active System of Award Management (SAM) registration. A D-U-N-S number may be obtained free-of-charge from Dun & Bradstreet.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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OSHA’s General Industry Fall Protection

Falls from heights and on the same level are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA’s long-established regulations for fall protection in the construction industry (1926 Subpart M) were applied to the general industry in 2016 in an expansion of the existing walking-working surface standard.

OSHA's General Industry Fall Protection
OSHA’s General Industry Fall Protection
  • Applies to all general industry workplaces and covers all walking-working surfaces, which include horizontal and vertical surfaces such as floors, stairs, roofs, ladders, ramps, scaffolds, elevated walkways, and use of fall protection systems.
  • Requires employers to identify fall hazards in their workplace and establish plans and procedures for the elimination of or protection from them.
  • If fall protection or prevention is necessary, all components must be adequately rated, regularly inspected, and employees must be properly trained on their use.

Choice of Fall Protection

The final rule gives employers more choices in the type of providing fall protection equipment they are required to provide, allowing them to choose from:

  • guardrail systems
  • safety net systems
  • personal fall arrest systems
  • positioning systems
  • travel restrain systems
  • ladder safety systems
  • rope descent systems. 

Ladder Safety

A new rule regarding ladder safety requirements was established to protect workers from falling off of fixed and portable ladders as well as mobile ladder stands and platforms. 

Fixed ladders:

  • Employers must provide a ladder safety or personal fall arrest system for fixed ladders extending more than 24 feet.
  • Cages or wells must be phased out as fall protection equipment.

Portable ladders:

  • Rungs and steps must be slip-resistant
  • Ladders used on slippery surfaces must be secured and stabilized
  • Ladders must not be moved, shifted, or extended while a worker is on them
  • Top steps and caps must not be used as steps
  • Ladders must not be fastened together to provide added length unless designed for such use.
  • Ladders must not be placed on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain added height. 

Training Requirements

The rule adds a requirement that employers ensure workers who use personal fall protection and work in other specified high hazard situations are trained by a qualified person and in a language that workers understand. Additionally, retraining must be provided when there is a change in workplace operations or equipment or if employer believes that a worker needs additional training based on lack of knowledge or demonstrated skill.

A qualified person must train these workers to correctly:

  • Identify and minimize fall hazards
  • Use personal fall protection systems and rope descent systems
  • Maintain, inspect, and store equipment or systems used for fall protection
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National Safety Month June 2020

The National Safety Council (NSC) remains dedicated to eliminating the leading causes of preventable death and injury occurring on the job and beyond. National Safety Month scheduled for June 2020 will continue as it is more critical than ever to provide resources for employers and the workforce amid global operation adjustments.

National Safety Month June 2020
National Safety Month June 2020

This month, the NSC unveils a new look, updated resources, and a renewed commitment to be America’s safety advocate. Creating a culture of safety in every workplace will be supported with new initiatives including redesigned in-person training courses that can be consumed virtually.

Rather than focusing on a single topic each week as in years past, the NSC will be providing real-time, relevant resources on a variety of topics for keeping workers safe in our evolving workplaces. National Safety Month’s public materials will include posters, tip sheets, articles, social media graphics, and more. If you are an NSC member, your additional resources include 5-Minute Safety talks, additional posters, videos, and more.

The NSC is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate focused on eliminating the leading causes of preventable death. Their values include:

  • Be Safe – a commitment to mission of safety
  • Be Bold – challenge the status quo
  • Be Impactful – exceed expectations
  • Be NSC – collaborate with others to achieve results

NSC helps employers and workers put everyday safety strategies in place to solve problems. Employers are provided with resources to promote cultures of safety, saving workplaces money, increasing productivity, and creating a safety mindset. NSC engages across national and local governments, advocating for awareness and drive policies that create cultures of safety.

Safety leaders develop research and ready-to-use toolkits to help companies tackle important issues affecting their workers. NSC uses research and data to drive better, smarter, more personal safety programs. Education training and tools are created based on surveys and assessments that track risk mitigation trends. Thousands of companies nationwide, including Fortune 100 corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and community service agencies, rely on NSC to educate their employees in workplace safety.

Fall Protection Systems supplies critical safety equipment and service that has kept thousands of workers safe from falls while on the job for over 20 years. Our patented TD3 Truss overhead rigid rail systems provide the highest degree of mobility and safety in fall protection. In addition to overhead rigid rail, FPS is your partner for everything fall protection, securing hazards including open edges, maneuvering around equipment, confined space, and ladder climbing. You can reach our fall protection specialists via email or phone (888-596-5367).

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