fall protection for storage tanks

Fall Protection & Safe Access for Tanks & Silos

OSHA-compliant passive systems, active work restraint and fall arrest systems for above ground storage tank and silo workers.

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User-friendly and uncompromising
fall protection for tanks.

Flexible Lifeline Systems (FLS) is prepared and ready to handle your tank safety needs. Our Railings, Anchors, Lifelines, & Safe Access Systems are designed to be user-friendly and non-intrusive while providing continuous, complete, and uncompromising fall protection while working at height.

Our solutions use components made from 316 marine grade stainless steel, to ensure system longevity and reliability. We have solutions for all types of tanks including:

  • fixed roof tanks
  • open top flat bottom storage tanks
  • fixed roof flat bottom low pressure tanks
  • silos
  • hoppers
  • portable water storage tanks
  • industrial water storage tanks
  • and other similar structures
Safety Handrail Systems

Safety Handrail Systems

Our FlexGuard solution provides a handrail system that is freestanding and non-penetrating around the perimeter of the tank or from the access ladder to certain points on the tank. Installation of a FlexGuard system require no drilling or hot work.

Inclined Fall Protection For Tank Stairs

Inclined Fall Protection For Tank Stairs

Many tanks have steep hazardous stairways. FLS has solutions for rigid and cable-based inclined systems that provide continuous fall protection while ascending or descending tank stairways. These solutions can be mounted to the handrails on tank stairs, including curved stairways.

Fall Restraint Anchors On Tanks

Fall Restraint Anchors On Tanks

FLS offers unique tank anchors which attach to the center access hatch. These anchors provide 360° fall restraint and arrest protection on top of the tank. We have solutions for all sizes of pipes and flanges.

Why Turn to FLS for Tank & Silo Fall Protection?


Flexible Lifeline Systems Tank and Silo fall protection solutions start with evaluating the specific maintenance operations performed. In most cases, onsite evaluations are required to assess fall hazards and structural integrity.


Our team of registered structural engineers, AutoCAD designers and field engineers utilize the hazard assessment and analysis to model fall protection systems that provide work efficiency, maximum coverage, compliance and safety for your tank or silo.


To maintain the highest level of quality, every system part and manufactured component is thoroughly inspected, processed and supplied in accordance with our ISO 9001:2015 program.


Our construction and field technicians have decades of experience installing fall protection systems in every possible application and environment enabling us to perform safely and efficiently and complete even the most complicated process in days versus weeks.


Flexible Lifeline Systems coordinators, trainers, technicians, and engineers proactively ensure solutions are properly used, serviced, inspected and remain compliant with latest standards and regulations through annual recertification.


For purposes of OSHA’s construction standards (29 CFR Part 1926), the top of a storage tank would not be a “roof” but rather a “walking/working surface.” See §1926.500(b) Definitions. The top of a storage tank would be considered a “platform” for purposes of Subpart D of the General Industry standards (29 CFR Part 1910) depending on the frequency of employee use. OSHA has issued guidance on when an elevated working surface will be treated as a platform covered by the standard. See OSHA Instruction STD 1-1.13, “Fall Protection in General Industry 29 CFR §1910.23(c)(1), (c)(3), and 29 CFR §1910.132(a)” (April 16, 1984, copy enclosed).

OSHA is engaged in a rulemaking to revise the requirements of Subparts D and I of 29 CFR Part 1910 (55 Federal Register 13360, April 10, 199068 Federal Register 23528, May 2, 2003). Under the proposed revisions, the top of a tank where employees sometimes perform inspection or maintenance duties would fall within the definition of a “walking and working surface” as defined in the proposal, and fall protection would usually be required if the surface is more than four feet above an adjacent level. See proposed §1910.27(b)(1).

Pursuant to §1910.23(c)(1), the open sides of platforms more than four feet above an adjacent floor or ground level must be guarded by a standard railing or the equivalent. If the top of a tank is not a “platform” under the analysis called for in OSHA’s guidance document, the guardrail requirements of that standard would not apply. However, if perimeter guarding is not provided, fall protection in the form of personal protective equipment would likely be required by §1910.132(a).

A steeply sloped walking or working surface increases the risk that an employee will slip and fall. Injury could also result if the employee slides into any perimeter guardrails or protrusions in the surface. Personal protective equipment as required by §1910.132 could take the form of shoes with slip resistant soles. Although not personal protective equipment within the meaning of §1910.132, a non-skid surface on the tank itself would provide additional protection, as would the installation of a handrail.

OSHA standard at 1910.23(a)(2) requires that “Every ladderway floor opening or platform shall be guarded by a standard-railing with standard toeboard on all exposed sides (except at entrance to opening), with the passage through the railing either provided with a swinging gate or so offset that a person cannot directly walk into the opening.” However, the proposed paragraph at 1910.28(b)(6) permits the use of movable guardrail sections such as gates, chains, and other means, which, when open, provide a means of access and, when closed, provide the guardrail protection that meets the proposed paragraphs 1910.28(b)(1) through (b)(5). An employer’s compliance with the proposed rule, in lieu of compliance with an existing rule, is considered as a de minimis violation. As stated above, OSHA does not issue citations, impose penalties, or require correction of de minimis violations.

Source: OSHA