Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rung for your life!

Ever have to make one of those reeeally long ladder climbs?  Didja wonder if you were ever going to get to the top (or the bottom, for that matter)?  Your hands can get sweaty and your boots might have a bit 'o crud on them . . . you get a bit tired . . . next thing you know:  you lose your grip, or your foot misses the mark.  This may be an annoyance, or it could be a lot worse.

Fall protection systems for ladders are only required for ladders more than 15 feet tall (you can see the harness attachment rail at the center line of this one).  This may keep you from falling to the ground, but you may still bust your face on the ladder before you regain you composure (yet another good reason to have a chin strap on your hard-hat!).

Many of the ladders you may encounter are right at or just short of the 15 foot limit, so all you have to protect you is your good grip on the ladder.  You can install fall arrest devices on ladders less than 15', too, and it is a really good practice.

Safeguard Technologies has a solution:  Formed fiberglass overlays that are fabricated to fit a variety of ladder rung diameters from 3/4" to 2" diameter.  The covers have hi-traction grit embedded in the material to provide a slip-resistant texture to the surface.  These can be applied to scaffold climbing rails, too, which are notoriously slippery - why do the scaffolding manufacturers coat these with glossy powder-coat paint?!
A ladder rung cover being installed with adhesive.

Ladders rungs nicely visible and with very high traction.

Now for the cool part:  Since these are made-to-order to fit the rung width and rung diameter of your facility's ladders, they can fabricate the rung covers with photoluminescent pigment in the fiberglass binder.  This can help you find your way down from the catwalk or gridiron in the dark should the power go out.

Resource:  Safeguard Technology (http://www.safeguard-technology.com/)

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