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Certified Fall Protection Systems

July 17, 2019

An industrial manufacturing client recently inquired about our firm’s ability to furnish and install a certified fall protection system for the roof of a building at one of their Gulf Coast manufacturing facilities. The owner’s primary concern was fall protection for the multiple technicians that access the rooftop — HVAC maintenance, electrical and other contractors from a variety of trades.

A system that would allow everyone accessing the rooftop to be secure at all times would involve multiple penetrations in the existing roof to affix post/anchors to the structural steel roof support system with a lifeline secured to these posts around the roof perimeter. Since this client had a new roof system installed on this facility two years prior that still had many years of the roof system manufacturer’s warranty remaining, the owner wanted to ensure it could have this system installed and keep the warranty intact. Since our firm is certified by the roof system manufacturer to install AND repair the roof system on this facility, the client chose Standard to be the single-source provider/installer for this new fall protection system with the requirement that the existing roof warranty be recertified after the fall protection system was installed.

Based on this facility’s rooftop conditions and the existing roof system installed, we identified a rooftop fall protection system manufactured by Miller Safety Systems, a division of Honeywell Corporation. After discussions with Miller representatives, we agreed that their ShockFusion™ Horizontal Lifeline (HLL) was the best system for this project. Due to the facility’s proximity to the Gulf Coast’s salt-air, one of the most important determining factors for this particular system was its corrosion-resistant features including components made of stainless steel and the post and the base plates coated with zinc and premium powder for extended life.

Using Google Earth, the Miller engineering team was able to design the system for the facility’s specific rooftop shape. Once we knew the post placements based on this design, we were able to provide Miller’s design team with the various thicknesses of the tapered roof insulation where the HLL anchor posts would be placed around the roof perimeter. After finalizing the design and determining the cost, we presented our proposal to the owner. The proposed design was approved by the owner’s Safety and Engineering teams, and we received a purchase order from the owner directing us to proceed with the project as specified. 

Crews from our firm and Miller’s Safety team coordinated the work which involved first opening the roof at the predetermined locations in order to set the zinc-coated post base plates. The plates were secured through the metal roof deck into the structural steel joists that supported the roof. The post was then secured to the base plate and flashed into the roof in accordance with roof system warranty requirements.

A resistance test was performed on each post to confirm that the pull resistance met standard requirements. After all posts were secured, tested and flashed-in to the roof system, the stainless steel lifeline was threaded through stainless steel eye-hooks affixed to the top of each post. Finally, the lifeline system was tested for pull resistance. All tests passed according to the system design.

The Miller Safety design team certified the installation, the roof system manufacturer recertified the roof warranty and we presented the certificates to the owner along with related project close-out documents. Two years later — and after countless technicians have accessed the roof — the roof and the Miller ShockFusion™ Horizontal Lifeline (HLL) System are still performing as designed.

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