Fall Protection Systems partnered with a grain supply chain barge, rail, and truck terminal to secure workers during loading/unloading operations. Situated along the Mississippi River, the facility receives grain and grain byproducts via rail and truck for transloading to barges destined for export.
The goal for this project was to provide safe access and fall protection to their rail operations, to include our patented TD3 Truss Overhead Rigid Rail system installed with access staircase platforms. This combination protects workers as they climb to reach the needed working height and allows them to safely connect to the overhead fall protection system. Once connected, they can safely walk and work atop rail cars across the entire span of the fall protection system, secured from potential falls. Two rail operation locations were secured with systems that provide 180 feet and 210 feet of uninterrupted fall protection.
Due to the proximity to the river, adjustments at the site and in the system were needed to address elevation challenges. Our engineering and design team worked with the site to raise the elevation of the installation area and added three feet to the support columns holding our trolley rail. These accommodations should ensure the durability of the fall protection system and provide decades of loading and unloading safety.
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.
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.”
An educational complex came to Fall Protection Systems with a request to protect their staff accessing rooftops for regular maintenance of equipment. Getting to and working on the equipment exposed workers to fall hazards including at-height work well over 10 feet, hatchway access, and maneuvering around industrial equipment.
Our client was unhappy with the prior provider’s slow response times and unmet solutions expectations. FPS is committed to fall safety of course, but we are also committed to providing a turnkey experience with exactly the right solutions for each individual facility and their operations.
An FPS fall protection specialist visited the facilities to complete an on-site survey including learning about the operations performed, taking measurements, and assessing hazards. The Design and Engineering Team created detailed layouts for each building, customizing a complete fall protection system combining a variety of solutions to protect each hazard. Our durable solutions included the installation of freestanding and mounted guardrails to protect hatchways and create safe walkways as well as freestanding warning lines to alert maintenance crews to the perimeter fall hazard.
Installation was completed in 2019 on budget, on time, and without interruption to their daily operations. They had this to share about their experience with Fall Protection Systems: “FPS was very responsive and engaging in helping to develop the correct layout for various rooftop areas and elevations. From the initial contact to the complete installation of the system, the process was logical, smooth, and met our expectations. Currently, we are using the systems often and are happy with the results. The rooftop area we worried about is much safer now.”
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.
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”.
A machinery and transportation container repair company reached out to FPS to retrofit fall protection to their existing steel supported facility. Daily operations included workers accessing the top of cargo shipping containers for fabrication and welding repairs, exposing them to falls from heights of 10 feet or more. Additionally, service work was performed on large container crane forklifts with staff climbing on top of crane masts and booms not practically accessible by ladder or portable elevating man lift.
These daily hazards of unsecured elevated work not only risked the safety of the employees but exposed the company to possible OSHA violations including the requirement of fall protection over rolling stock and fall protection for elevated work greater than 4 feet to a lower level.
Our local Fall Protection Specialist completed an onsite survey and worked with our design and engineering team to create a drafted design of the preexisting steel structure. Based on the in-person and drafting analysis, our team custom manufactured attachment brackets to secure overhead rigid rail for OSHA compliant fall protection. Our Fall Protection Specialist also identified an opportunity to secure maintenance employees performing work with portable hand tools around the sides of elevated cars. In addition to the overhead rigid rail fall protection system, FPS provided a lightweight 3 ft by 9 ft, 500 lb load-rated rolling work platform secured with handrails.
The project was completed about 12 weeks after the order was placed, including drafting, custom manufacturing, and installation.
A chemical loading and unloading site with shared space for both truck and rail cars did not have adequate fall protection. Employees were accessing the top of rail and truck cars from cumbersome attached ladders, which are frequently too narrow and unprotected from falls. They reached out to Fall Protection Systems for a solution to protect their employees who were routinely accessing and working at-heights of 15-feet.
In addition to tight space shared by trucks and railcars, any fall protection system had to be installed to accommodate overhead piping and platforms. Our fall protection specialists completed an onsite survey collecting precise measurements of the work area and obstructions. Working with our engineering teams, a T-Series fall protection system was custom designed. The T-series features twin FPS patented TD3 Truss trolley rail beams secured to a shared support column. The parallel beams allow for the side-by-side fall protection needed to span both the truck and rail areas, minimizing the footprint on the site.
Once installed, our National Accounts Manager, Tom Dillon, visited the facility and completed user field training on the fall protection system. The success of our turnkey program and resolved fall safety concerns have led to similar overhead systems now in progress at two other facilities within this company.
A food processing plant needed to protect workers accessing the top of bulk dry hopper cars where they open and close coffin door lids to guide loading of grain & feed via a portable conveyor. Their existing platform lacked safe access and created a leading edge fall hazard. In addition to exposures of 15-foot elevation falls, climbing the narrow rail car ladders put staff at risk of slips and falls. These deficiencies presented catastrophic fall hazards and violated OSHA’s Walking, Working Surfaces standards and guidance from the general duty clause requiring fall protection over rolling stock.
The Fall Protection Systems team engineered, manufactured, and installed an overhead rigid rail system retrofitted to existing overhead concrete precast t-panel roof and provided a safe access solution to that anchorage. The need for customized installation was analyzed by our fall protection specialist who initially surveyed the site. Our fall protection specialist worked with our in-house engineering and manufacturing teams to create a custom bracket attachment fitted to the site’s concrete roof. This allowed for the installation of overhead rigid rail fall protection, providing the highest level of fall arrest protection to staff working on top of the hopper cars. To ensure safe access to anchor to the overhead rigid rail, FPS provided a hand-railed stairwell including a 500lb load-rated spring platform.
The increase of efficiency and safety while loading utilizing the updated fall protection equipment was well received. The client and FPS are working together to expand this solution at other facilities.
An oil terminal facility had existing overhead cable lifelines for a two-track worksite that was not meeting their demands for safe work over railcars. The cable lifeline was inadequately installed around overhead obstructions causing the trolley to get stuck regularly and an inability to maintain proper tension. These deficiencies slowed down work and exposed workers to unsafe fall distances.
The Fall Protection System team engineered, manufactured, and installed a solution that used the client's existing support columns, minimizing overall project cost. The cable line was replaced with our patented TD3 Truss Overhead Rigid Rail with a galvanized finish to hold up to the outdoor elements for decades of fall protection.
The project was done incrementally per the client’s request. Replacing one track at a time reduced disruption to their business processes and allowed them to budget their project across multiple fiscal years. The entire project was complete in the two-year timeline requested by the client who had this to share about his experience with FPS:
"FPS came highly recommended by another company located close to us. From the initial contact through the complete installation of the system, the process was logical, smooth, and met my expectations. I was impressed with the professionalism of everyone at FPS, especially the installation crew, who really understood our requirements and made the installation process easy and straight forward without interrupting our workflow. Currently, we are using the system often and are very happy with the results."
Grain Handlers Invest in Worker Safety for Rail Operations
More and more grain handlers have been installing equipment to protect employees who are working 14 feet up atop covered hopper cars from falls. Fall Protection Systems custom designs systems to fit the unique aspects of the job site and the work performed.
Mulitple User Unit - FPS Installs Multi-User System at High Volume Grain Loading Facility
1,000 foot long fall protection system extends the length of approximately 15 railcars and holds up to three workers at once eliminating the need for workers to climb the metal rung ladders installed on covered hopper cars.
Worker Safety - FPS Improves Worker Safety at Grain Elevator with 28 Railcar Load Capacity
FPS engineers and installs a four-person, eight-column system that utilizes a heavy-duty structural steel rail suspended 27 feet over the track that provides roughly 12 feet of clearance between the top of a railcar and the trolley beam.
Rigid vs. Cable - Iowa Cooperative Chooses Rigid Rail System over Cable System
The New Cooperative Inc. chooses a rigid rail fall protection system for its facility that loads 100-car unit trains on a Union Pacific branch line through two separate loading points simultaneously.
Railcar Wash - Frito Lay Uses FPS System for Safe Cleaning of Railcars
Fall Protection Systems Inc. installs fall protection equipment at Frito-Lay Inc.'s 3-million-bushel corn receiving elevator in Gothenburg, Nebraska as part of a "wet cleaning" station for railcars.
FPS Delivers Over a Mile of Rigid Rail Fall Protection For Renewable Energy Group
Fall Protection Systems Inc. completes a project that included over a mile of overhead rigid rail fall protection for Renewable Energy Group.