With this in mind, one of the most overlooked fall protection options for work at height are rigid rail systems. However, these comprehensive, continuous anchor systems offer a multitude of benefits and meet certain safety and mobility needs that other systems simply cannot. For example, lifelines do not offer even close to the same mobility as a rail system, and even less so when intermediary supports are required. In contrast, rigid rails allow for smooth, continuous movement along a system of any length. Rigid rail systems are particularly effective in permanent facilities when working at height, such as for vehicle maintenance duties, work on an elevated platform, or even repairs of a mechanical or electrical nature in a factory setting.
More Possibility of Configuration for More Maniability
At Les Équipements JPB, we have designed our very own horizontal rigid rail system – a thin rail with enhanced configuration capability to accommodate narrow spaces between structural elements. Our rail system is comprised of 6061-T6 aluminium alloy, one of the strongest and most fracture-resistant in its class (42,000 psi), which offers excellent resistance to hard blows and atmospheric conditions. The trolley, made of the same alloy as the rail, features 16 high-quality wheels whose engineered design controls slack and adjusts to the rail for enhanced mobility and effortless glide. All of this is mounted upon anodized plates by means of two grooves that ensure precise alignment, making the transfer from one rail to another easy and barely noticeable. Plates are attached to a base structure by stainless steel bolts placed at intervals of 12 feet or less. This base structure is attached to the existing building structure. What’s more, we extrude all rails, trolleys and support plates in Quebec from our own moulds and can cover them with a clear, anodized protective coating for use in corrosive or chemical environments.
Respect from Exemptions from the CSST and the CSA
The rail system manufacturing process begins well before any parts are produced. First, a project must be carefully evaluated so as to develop a system that suits the facility structure; complies with CSST and CSA standards; and, of course, meets the needs of the client. For example, does the project require many workers having to work and to crisscross in the same zone at the same time? If so, then a parallel rail system is in order. Does the building offer an adequate structure? If not, additional supports must be installed. Furthermore, distance compliance as well as the 22° shift per regulations must be respected. While it is important to have a good product, it is just as important, if not more so, to have a good plan. Our engineers develop and seal their design plans, attesting conformity to standards. It is a sign of quality, a guarantee. Only afterwards can manufacturing, installation, testing and calibration commence. And it doesn’t end there! Workers must be trained on the operation of the system and on emergency preparedness and response. We’re not talking about a first aid course, but rather training that will equip workers with the knowledge of measures to take so as to improve the safety of the person in distress and minimize suspension trauma, notably by unhooking him or her from the system to allow blood to flow. Furthermore, systems must be inspected annually to ensure that they are in good working order and still meet user needs. All of this is part and parcel of our comprehensive turn-key service that isn’t offered by all suppliers. The fact that we offer a system that we developed ourselves is an undeniable advantage. On one hand, we know our system inside and out, and on the other, clients deal directly with the manufacturer, meaning that they can adapt their system to suit their particular needs without paying extra to intermediaries.
We have installed numerous systems for a variety of diverse applications. Installations for vehicle maintenance are a good example as rigid rail in particular meets the needs of this common application. Whether a worker is on the roof of a trailer, a snowplow or a tanker, he must count on a fall-arrest system that not only protects him, but permits him to move back and forth along the vehicle and to do his job without being encumbered. Another example would be our train loading installations, where cargo must be sorted and analyzed by workers who must move safely between containers. We can even install a rail system on the railing of elevated platforms, making it much easier for a worker to move around at height than if using anchors. In short, rail system applications are numerous, sometimes even unexpected.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you carefully examine your workplace, consider all available options and choose the best solution to suit your needs. With this in mind, it would be a shame to quickly dismiss the idea of rigid rail for another fall-arrest system that is maybe cheaper, but is most likely less practical and less suited to your needs. We firmly believe that our horizontal rigid rail system in particular meets the safety and mobility needs of diverse applications and facilities, and that our turn-key service offering satisfies even the strictest of requirements