Making Fall Protection Mobile
‘Mobile Fall Protection’ are 3 words that one wouldn’t think go together. Folks in the know understand that fall protection is tricky. Anchors are welded, bolted, wrapped, and always to something heavy, often un-moveable; all things that don’t lend themselves to mobility.
OSHA inspectors’ pens have been running dry writing citations on fall protection for a long time. A quick online search will let you know that at least as far back as 2012, fall protection has been the top violation every year, yet it seems that workers and safety professionals have a difficult time finding anchorage, enforcing fall protection usage by workers, or a mixture of both.
We’ll table the enforcement issue for another article, and just visit the first part of the fall protection conundrum… Where is a worker supposed to tie off?
Maybe the job is a new construction building where a structure isn’t there for anchorage until the workers build it. Maybe it’s a factory maintenance effort to overhaul a machine at height where it may never be accessed again; is a company supposed to build elaborate anchorage for a once ever hazard? Maybe an engineered solution is hundreds of thousands of dollars, 9 months of back and forth with installers, engineers, and building maintenance; meanwhile, workers remain in an unsafe environment. If I listed every head-scratching situation I’ve heard, it would take several pages; but I’ve never heard one that wasn’t valid, so it makes me happy to offer a solution for some of these situations. Our workers’ lives are too important to remain unprotected, yet a solution for each and every situation seems impossible.
As an industry, fall protection manufacturers have put in a huge effort to offer standard ‘mobile’ products to make it feasible for workers to tie off in difficult spots. There are roof carts with digging teeth, forklift moveable davit arms, free standing weighted roof anchors, wheeled staircases, moveable A-frames, and so much more. All these products have a purpose, and the manufacturers have testing documentation to prove that a worker’s fall can be prevented or arrested by proper usage of each device. But if you look at all the products in this category, you can’t help but feel that the word ‘Mobile’ is stretched as far as it can go.
Fall protection violations result in more deaths than any other workplace accident, fall protection is the most fined citation by OSHA, and enforcing the use of fall protection measures is problemmatic. We wanted to offer an easy to use, intuitive, and highly effective mobile fall protection solution. One that adds a very important factor, PORTABILITY. In 2015, Malta Dynamics took on the challenge of making this a reality. We were so far away from any other product, that Malta Dynamics send employees to the leading National standards group and begged them to write a standard or provide testing criteria for this category that we found ourselves inventing.
Fast forward to today, and we have this towable, mobile, fall protection anchor point. I have it hooked up to my pickup truck right now, and when I need to deploy, I can have it set up and ready to tie off in 5 minutes. In some cases, I don’t even need to unhook it from the truck! Our X1260 can provide anchorage for 5 people at a time, and at heights of up to 34 feet. We have 4 highly customizable models right now, and I’d like to think we’re only beginning to scratch the surface.
When your workers need to be safe, and you need to have quick, efficient, and TRULY mobile solutions for your Fall Protection hazards, the XSERIES Mobile Grabber family of products continues to lead the way.
Greg Brown takes care of sales and training for the XSERIES Mobile Grabber. He has spent years working in the manufacturing and energy industries, and takes pride in a customer-first approach to sales and service. To subscribe to the XSERIES Mobile Grabber mailing list, or to speak with Greg about your fall hazards, please call him at 740-749-5855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.