The Workplace Safety Blog

Safety & Fall Prevention Insights From Carbis Solutions

Stay Safe with Rail Car Safety Cages

The Carbis Team | Apr 13, 2012 8:05:00 AM

It's possible to increase productivity at your company's loading rack simply by adding proper fall prevention made to suit your business's needs. Whether it's a rail safety cage or rail enclosure, fall dangers will be minimized in the workplace when the facility's unique requirements are taken into account.

When you make rail car safety your top priority, it prevents potentially high costs in possible downtime and money spent due to safety citations and workplace injuries. When your company has the proper fall prevention it creates a safe place for rail car operators to work. Rail Car Safety Cages extend past the height of the rail car crash box by one foot to provide additional fall prevention. They can also be designed with different types of handrail systems, making them versatile enough to use with a variety of crash box configurations. Greenfield or retrofit situations can be satisfied using powered or manually operated Rail Enclosures.

An example of how rail car work was made safer using safety cages, involves one of the world’s top producers of olefins and polyolefins. They wanted to improve fall prevention measures for their employees who were working on top of rail cars. It wasn’t just a simple fix because the company faced several challenges. Many of their loading/unloading stations were designed in the 1970’s so they were quite outdated. Also work areas had become overcrowded with equipment that had been added over the years: catwalks, skids, hoses, loading arms, process piping, workstations and access platforms. Upgrading this maze of fall prevention seemed nearly impossible.

One of the major issues was time. Due to customer commitments, down time had to be limited to half-days at the most. The installation of any new equipment had to take place around continuing operational processes and product flow. Many companies face challenges like this. Having to retrofit fall prevention equipment while work is going on. Loading/unloading stations tend to evolve over time as processes change. This causes alterations to the original layout and makes these areas limited on maneuverable space.

The solutions involved with this particular challenge had to take into account the process for accessing the top of rail cars and the activities conducted by workers while on top of those rail cars. These activities included the loading/unloading equipment, where the equipment is stored when not in use and the range of motion the equipment uses when in operation. The final solution design for this company involved replacing old loading arms and incorporating the new ones into a fully integrated elevating platform system. Also included was an elevating safety cage system that would surround the existing crash box on top of rail cars carrying liquids. A top, mid and bottom rail closed all gaps larger than 19-inches. A wide access gangway with 42-inch high handrails allowed operators safe access to the top of the rail cars. Finally an integrated loading arm maneuvers with the elevating safety cage to increase the efficiency of the loading process while maintaining operator safety.

If your company has fall prevention issues, contact Carbis today. Our engineers can design a unique system for your business that will improve processes making them safer and more productive.

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