The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a list of regulations and standards for monitoring workplace safety and health issues, while encouraging employers to establish safety and health programs and address any hazards. But regarding fall protection, the OSHA standard notes only that a manufacturing plant, for example, has to have a “safe” work environment.
Firestone CO-based Midwest PMS, a manufacturer of liquid feed supplements for cattle and other livestock, decided three years ago that the best way to make its 11 facilities as safe as possible for employees was to upgrade its fall-protection systems.
Midwest PMS turned to SafeRack LLC, purchasing and installing the Permacable • Horizontal Lifeline System for use at all of its railcar sidings. Permacable — manufactured by Sellstrom/RTC but marketed and installed on-site by SafeRack — is a synthetic, lightweight cable that is strung between L- or T-shape supports that can be spaced up to 200 feet apart. The system's pass-through device allows workers to walk past intermediate supports without having to disconnect their lifeline. Despite its light weight, Permacable • has a tensile strength of 16,000 pounds and is weather-, chemical-, and corrosion-resistant. The cable is bright orange, but when it wears, it turns a bright red, alerting the operator that it needs to be replaced.
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