The market for fall protection systems is large, and the number of standard solutions is growing. In spite of this, companies in very different industries continue to need special solutions tailored to their individual requirements. Above all, because of the latest technologies, processes change very quickly in growing industrial operations, and so appropriate safety systems are required. For this reason we present three highly effective special solutions for fall protection in industry, and explain what you should look for when choosing an expert partner.
What are special solutions?
In terms of safety at work, technical experts talk of special solutions when individual “in situ” requirements mean that the application of a standard product is not possible. Special solutions require the fall protection system to be planned and implemented so that it is specifically matched to the respective situation.
Particularly in industrial operations, standard solutions are frequently impractical, as they are unable to provide comprehensive safety, due to unique specific requirements. For example, because the ambient air is mixed with a salt solution or another substance which affects the materials of the safety system. At the same time, cases of an illusion of safety continue to arise in companies, for example when products are installed which were not correctly serviced and were not inspected for various defects. As per manufacturer specifications, and standards EN 795 and EN 365, this should take place annually.
Special solutions in industry can be:
- Protection for machinery
- Protection for cranes and crane runways
- Protection for ascents
Special solutions are planned, developed, and produced by experienced and professional providers of fall protection. Together with their partners, such as trained installation companies or inspection (TÜV) and civil engineers, these providers perform an individual risk assessment, CAD planning, installation and documentation, and training in the individual safety system.
3 highly effective special solutions for industry
Fall protection is a holistic safety concept which must comply with specific laws and standards. Otherwise, the risk of avoidable personal injury and material damage and consequences for the company would arise. Together with INNOTECH, the following three industrial operations have developed highly effective special solutions which we would like to share with you.
1st special solution: Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GmbH
The Liebherr group is a family-led technological company with a widely diversified range of products. The company is one of the largest construction machinery manufacturers in the world and also provides high-quality, utility-oriented products and services for many other industries. Today the group includes more than 140 companies on all continents, employs around 48,000 workers, and in 2020 generated a consolidated total turnover exceeding 10.3 billion euros. Since its foundation in 1949 in Kirchdorf an der Iller (southern Germany), Liebherr has pursued the goal of convincing its customers by means of sophisticated solutions and of contributing to technological progress.
- In the servicing position, the crane is only 2 to 3 metres above the ground, and so there must be no cable deflection
- A pendulum fall must be prevented
- the user must be able to traverse the gap between the rails (service openings) safely
- An individually matched TAURUS rail system having a low-height rail
- In addition, two rails were fitted left and right of the walkway, in order to reduce the fall height and prevent a pendulum fall
- A special slider bridges large gaps, and so the crane modules can be assembled more efficiently
- The PSA STRING 1 Basic 2-point safety harness and a robust, low-maintenance double HSG (fall arrest device with two cables and carabiners) also provide the user with a high level of safety
The complete safety system was integrated into the overall concept for the crane boom without impairing its functioning. In the Liebherr Nenzing works, the users are permanently and optimally protected during the assembly of the crane.
2nd special solution: Fill Maschinenbau
The multiple award-winning family company Fill Gesellschaft m.b.H., founded in 1966, is one of the world’s leading machinery and plant manufacturers. For the servicing of its robots, which are used to automate production lines on very different types of equipment, the company needed a special solution for its safety system.
- Gantry robots have a very restricted fall space, and so the cable deflection can be only very small
- Because many structures are already present, ceiling installation is not possible
- Creation of an independent steel construction to raise the safety system because of the cable deflection, and to reduce the fall factor to 0
- Installation of an 8mm cable system with proven end lock directly onto the plant’s steelwork
The employees at Fill Maschinenbau are now fully secured when they fix faults on the gantry robots and perform regular service tasks.
3rd special solution: railway signal posts
One of the largest transport undertakings in Switzerland, has been connecting people, regions, and places since 1911. Because the signal posts for the suburban network require servicing several times each year, the transport provider required a reliable safety system so that the employees could safely and flexibly climb the posts.
- most of the signal posts are 4 to 5 metres in height, and have to be accessed several times each year, e.g. to replace lights blinking intermittently, or to test connections
- it must be possible to attach the fall protection system without drilling, so that the structure is not weakened
- Installation of the newly developed VERT-SET-80 vertical cable system, which was specially developed for steel posts
- Combination of the safety system with the clamping plates used by Bär Bahnsicherung (the signalling company) for its signals
The fall protection users now benefit from a flexible yet robust cable system which remains steady and does not lurch against the signal post, even in the air stream of a passing train. A visual pre-check of the system is possible even from the ground, and thanks to the free running of the slider, ascending and descending are rapid and safe.
How to choose an expert partner for fall protection in industry
- How much experience and expertise does the provider have with fall protection systems for industry?
- Does its special solutions team see itself as a problem solver?
- Are you listened to as a customer, and are your questions answered?
- Does the partner put trust in proven products, and are these tested under actual conditions?
- Does safety come before profit for the company?
- Does the provider comply with all legal standards, and does he also proactively look beyond the horizon of industrial safety?
- Does your fall protection partner provide training sessions for his own safety specialists?
- Are the special solution specialists available for discussions with the installation company, assessors, etc.?
- How much value does your partner place on customer satisfaction?
Summary: The right special solution for every challenge
Having provided special solutions for many years, we know that there is an answer for every challenge. Wherever a standard solution is insufficient, operations require individually tailored safety concepts. Because in matters of industrial safety, compromises can have fatal outcomes not only for the employees, but also for the company itself. Therefore, when choosing an expert fall protection partner, ensure that he painstakingly reviews your requirements and finds a highly effective solution for you.
Would you like to find out more about sustainable safety concepts in industrial operations? Then download our manual about fall protection in industry now, free of charge.