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ski tower climbing

A word from one of our safety professionals....."Regarding Ladder and tower climbing systems which come in 3 categories and hopefully this quick explanation will help you choose what’s best for your application.

Ridged rail or track fall protection:
This has the advantage to curve with the tower (most ladders are straight so this rarely applies) and can be connected to a tower leg that bows rather than run straight up, most rail grab sleeves travel well. The disadvantage is mainly cost which is generally more expensive to buy and install, if installed where winter weather can go below freezing the rail system can become locked due to ice build up and the sleeve will not travel on the rail. This can be a huge problem if the tower or ladder needs to be climbed in winter, don't use rail.

Cable System Fall Protection: The cable is general the most widely used system on the market mainly because of lower cost to buy and install. The cable has the advantage of flicking the ice or snow off in winter conditions which makes it a more reliability system for all seasons, most cable grab sleeves travel well.
The disadvantage is that OSHA requires that only one person can be on the cable at the same time. However you can have multi-users but each climber has to get off before another one can get on.


Retractable Lifeline Systems: This is the most user friendly fall protection you can have on a tower or ladder, the cable pays out and retracts as the climber travels up or down and locks in the event of a fall.
The disadvantage is that it’s restricted to length most units are sold in 25' and 50' feet however you can get longer units but the cost gets really expensive. Another problem is outdoor use, weather takes it’s toll on these units and they need frequent servicing, all servicing is done in a repair shop (most suppliers require that their units be returned to them for servicing) costly as the units have to be taken down and re-installed for each service. They work better in an indoor application.

There is a lot more about ladder and tower fall arrest protection systems, in fact one could write a book on the subject, but please if you need any help with a fall protection issue feel free to contact me click here to email - http://www.fallsafe.net/form.php Regards, James

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