Working a tank truck is a grueling job with large hours and even larger physical demands over the duration of a haul. Certain drivers will be required to climb atop their trailers 4 (four) or more times a day. Speaking with drivers at trade shows and hearing some of their stories points out to a few things we’ve noticed.
Most drivers arrive at their drop-off after a drive of more than 3 hours.
Blood circulation has been shown to cutoff after sitting in a fixed position for only 1 hour.
Most drivers are required to do some form of a freight checklist upon arrival, including climbing atop the trailer.
Our studies have shown more than 70% of all falls occur during access/egress (climbing up, and or dismounting the ladder).
All of these can be factors which can lead to a calamitous fall which can not only threaten the safety of your drivers, but in many cases the livelihood of the stakeholder businesses.
This is why the need for height safety equipment is so paramount in the industry. We often hear about falls, both fatal and life altering as gossip, with stories being traded around in hushed tones at industry events. The issue at hand is real, and while OSHA/DOT may take their time in pushing regulation changes, the best solution is to be proactive.
We recently identified a fatal fall from 2014 that details how even a simple unloading on a picturesque day can turn into a nightmare, and that’s why height safety solutions can be your best friend in 2016 and beyond.
See the link below for more information on said fall:
Life Line systems have become one of the solutions for fall protection atop tanker trucks, but these systems are not without fault. A life line gantry style system is very expensive to build and keep regularly maintained in accordance to OSHA standards. The other large issue deals with the physics of a life line system. A worker will require enough slack in the line to preform their duties atop the truck, but the line needs to be kept tight enough to prevent a fall. Unfortunately, this grey area leaves far too much room for catastrophic injuries due to the pendulum like nature of the system. A slip or fall off the top or rear of the tanker will result in the user being launched back into side of the steel tanker’s shell.
Not only are these systems very expensive and sometimes dangerous, they often require a team of more than one worker which will slow down business.
The best current solution is Standfast’s TRAM system. Using the Standard TRAM system, a worker can easily work atop their tanker. With the system being installed on top of the tanker, your worker can be in the safest position possible, regardless of location and said location’s equipment. The 24″ lanyards attaching the user to the TRAM Arm are long enough to prevent most injuries from a small slip/fall, and short enough to prevent a pendulum like effect into the side of the tanker.
The TRAM system can also be the solution of choice for single lid tankers with the Fixed Based Rotating Arm TRAM system. Over 70% of all falls occur during access/egress and the Fixed Based TRAM provides the best possible protection for workers climbing atop single dome lid tankers. All of Standfast’s products meet or exceed ANSI & OSHA regulations in regards to height safety and can be installed OEM or Retrofitted at feasible prices.
With the industry pushing forward towards tighter regulation on height safety, many are looking into the different options currently available for retrofit, as well as OEM delivered safety.
Handrails are one of the options being pushed around lately, but these devices have many limitations.
Not MSHA compliant
Must be 48″ tall, which can complicate certain trucks already nearing their max height for general transportation.
Lack of Access & Egress protection
Cold Weather Issues for Pneumatic & Pop Up Rails
Aerodynamics for longer hauls
Costly Hydraulic & Pneumatic Maintenance & Repair
Tight dimensions limiting mobility
Lack of Protection for Slips during inclement weather
Can complicate auto-washout mechanisms
Lack of protection for drivers over 6′ tall and or of a “larger diameter”
These issues along with many others complicate the safety landscape for tanker truck operators. Luckily Standfast’s TRAM system is the general solution for all these issues and meets or exceeds ANSI & OSHA regulations.
It looks like the other shoe is finally about to drop. For the longest time the tank truck industry has required it’s drivers to climb atop their trucks to load & unload, clean out tanks, and do QC checks. It’s one of the most dangerous aspects of the job and for anyone whose been on top of a walkway, the thought of a fall is cringe worthy.
Now it appears as though OSHA is taking charge in making significant changes to the now archived Miles Memo. In our longterm research we have found that 75% of falls in the trucking industry occur during access and egress. This is why the TRAM system was designed to protect the driver at all times when preforming maintenance atop the truck. With our 24″ tethers connecting you to the TRAM Arm, you can never fall away from our protection system. This means you won’t hit the side of your truck like a wrecking ball should you slip and fall from the top surface.
It will be interesting to see how things progress with OSHA. Those in the industry know the different interpretations of the Miles Memo left a loophole that allowed the transportation industry to avoid height safety regulations; where virtually every other “working at height” industry has strict regulations at the behest of the workers.
It appears as though April 2016 will be a pivotal month in determining what direction OSHA points the industry towards.
In the coming weeks, you’ll find information regarding Height Safety & Fall Protection on this site with updates coming at least once a week.
Our goal is to provide visitors current news and opinion pieces on the current status of the Height Safety & Fall Protection industries.
Standfast is the manufacturer of the highly decorated TRAM Fall Protection System, with over 10,000 units installed world wide. The TRAM System provides fall restraint or arrest protection as well as an integrated, adjustable handhold for both stability and confidence.
TRAM protects both operators and mechanics during rigging or maintenance activities whose locations are accessed from an elevated location.
TRAM secures the user during dangerous access/egress at ladder-to-platform transition.
The TRAM system exceeds fall protection standards world wide, with many different variants that allow it to be configured to your specific needs.