Gorbel Fall Arrest System Helps Transportation Authority Stay Safe While Going Green


Gorbel's Tether Track(TM) Rigid Rail Fall Arrest Anchor Systems are helping a municipal transportation authority keep their employees safe as they go "green". The transportation authority for a major northeast city took a turn towards a healthier environment when adding to its fleet of buses. Over the past two years, the company has been replacing old buses with more fuel efficient hybrid vehicles. While the fuel costs and emissions went down, the authority discovered that their maintenance employees would regularly be climbing up to the top of the new buses.

"Whenever we do any work on the bus, we have to be sure the electric supply is turned off," said the Supervisor of the Unit Change area. "In order for us to turn off the electricity, we've got to get on the roof."

The new hybrid buses feature an electric battery pack which is located on the top of the bus. That location has better airflow than if it was mounted underneath, which reduces corrosion and aids in heat dissipation of the battery unit. The first time one of the new hybrids required maintenance, the risk of falling became clear.

"We had no fall protection for the guys to be climbing on top of the bus," said the Supervisor. "We have a ladder to get us up there, but there was nothing to prevent someone from falling down."

When exploring their options for fall protection they began comparing wire rope anchoring systems to rigid rail. "There were two major reasons the customer couldn't go with wire rope," said the dealer salesperson. "First, they didn't have room in that area to put support beams for the wire rope. Second, they didn't have enough distance for the wire rope to stop the fall before they hit the floor."

The solution was installing four identical ceiling mounted Gorbel Tether Track(TM) anchor systems with Miller self-retracting lanyards with 20 feet of line. The Tether Track(TM) style chosen was a dual-trussed monorail that was 39 feet long, which fully covers the length of the buses. The dual-trussed style allows more than one worker to be on the roof of the bus, and the ability for two workers to pass each other without disconnecting the lanyards from their harnesses.

Now when a worker needs to access the battery pack on the roof they use a hook to pull down the lanyard, attach it to their harness and have fall protection from the moment they step onto the ladder to go to the roof.

"It's excellent. It's going to work perfectly for us," said the Supervisor. "My man is going to be able to hook up his harness, access the bus from the back with a ladder, be hooked to his harness and still get his job done in a safe manner on the back of the bus."

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