Railcar Rigid Rail & Self-Retracting Lifeline

Innovative Solutions

While ITAC Fall Protection certainly executes the typical inverted L and T support projects that involve lifelines and rigid rails above railcars, this particular multi-discipline project required custom engineering skills and in-house collaboration across several of our capabilities. Specifically, we utilized our expertise in CSA engineering, fall protection, and custom machinery to analyze the existing structures, to craft an excellent fall arrest system, and to fabricate the necessary support pieces.

This transformer manufacturer in Southwestern Virginia had some unique requirements:

  • Limited space on either side of the railcar due to the service rail provider’s clearance envelope
  • Needed a rigid rail (vs. flexible lifeline) due to low vertical height considerations
  • Could not disturb the sensitive soil to install new support posts

Due to the above limitations, we created a custom rigid rail solution that cantilevered off the existing building and reinforced the columns to allow for the additional fall arrest loadings. Next, ITAC’s Custom Machinery team designed and built a bent frame with lateral bracing to support a single span rigid rail fall arrest system. After the Fall Protection team installed the custom bent frame, we then trained the facility’s employees on the use of the self-retracting lifeline and tagline that are permanently mounted to the system. Finally, we flashed and weatherproofed the new penetrations through the existing wall in order to protect the materials inside. The client was thrilled with this innovative solution and has subsequently awarded ITAC many other projects throughout the plant.