FLS Fall Protection for Railcars & Trucks

Greif is a world leader in industrial packaging products and services. They produce steel, plastic, fibre, flexible and corrugated containers, packaging accessories and containerboard, and provide blending, filling and packaging services for a wide range of industries. Delta Companies Group – as subsidiary of Greif – is the world leader in the packaging and supply chain service industry. As the leader, Delta operates in a safe and environmentally responsible manner as a valued partner to our customers’ success by providing innovative solutions in Industrial Filling, Warehousing, Packaging, and Transloading.

This was a multi-faceted project that involved installing FlexRail Fall Protection Systems in both their main building and in a separate area. In the main building, Flexible Lifeline Systems designed and installed one FlexRail Fall Protection System approximately 350 feet in total length over the rail line. The system has three designated user areas with each user area designed for a one user fall arrest. The system was designed to attach to the existing building structure.

In the separate area, Flexible Lifeline Systems designed and installed two FlexRail Fall Protection Systems approximately 292 feet in total length over the loading area and rail line. Each system is designed for one user each. The systems are supported by new “T” gallows mounted on new drilled piers.

Project Challenges

The Main Building posed a major installation challenge. Part of the FLS design included mobile work platforms intended to slide along the rails. They had to be capable of safely supporting a small electric manlift and anchoring an electric winch for hoisting the FlexRail. The Main Building Railcar Unloading area is very narrow and situated between an exterior wall and a pipe rack.  The railcars ride on an elevated track over a 5’ deep catch basin covered by steel grating. Greif had previously contracted with a competitor to design and install fall protection in the main building Railcar unloading area.  The project became too challenging for the original company and the contract was terminated. However, Flexible Lifeline Systems was able to overcome the challenges, so Greif decided to award the fall protection in the ISO area to us as well.

The largest challenge facing FLS was the installation portion of the main building, which we had anticipated from the outset. This challenge called for creative solutions from FLS. The width of the work area between the pipe rack and the exterior wall meant that the only space to set installation equipment was directly over the tracks or straddling the tracks. The steel grating below the track was insufficient to support the weight of typical installation equipment, so straddling the tracks was ruled out. The Mobile Work Platforms were engineered by FLS and fabricated in our facility. Once onsite, they were set onto the rail inside the main building. The next step in the process involved hoisting the telescopic lift onto the Mobile Work Platforms and maneuvering them into the initial work position under the beams supporting the roof and the FlexRail. The two work platforms were connected with a 3/8” cable that matched the spacing of the building frames. Obstructions and lack of maneuvering space on the North end of the Main Building allowed for placement of the platforms and lifts at the door opening. The platforms were then connected to a 300’ long tow line allowing them to be tugged from the South end of the main building in the ISO Loading Area.

The next challenge was how to get the FlexRail from the ground level up into place on the building girders. With a lifting winch attached to the platform and a sheave block suspended from a custom designed & fabricated removable anchor, the FlexRail was installed in 25’ spans. After each section of FlexRail was securely in place and the manlifts lowered, the mobile platforms were tugged 25’ down the tracks to the next section of FlexRail to be installed. The process was repeated for each 25’ span through the 350’ building.