By Denise Emsley, NAVFAC Hawaii Public Affairs Officer
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (NNS) -- Successfully in use for the past two months, Naval Facilities (NAVFAC) Engineering Command Hawaii Transportation Division's new mobile, fall arrest system provides employees a safer working environment when performing maintenance on vehicles and equipment above four feet.
"After exhaustive research of fall arrest systems, we finally found one that is well-designed/engineered, meeting NAVFAC Hawaii's fall protection guidelines; mobile, making it useful for a variety of situations, equipment, and vehicles; and cost-effective for the command," said NAVFAC Hawaii TRANS-AVM Multi-Purpose Shop Supervisor Michal Kuklok. "The Flexible Lifeline Systems (FLS) Mobile Fall Arrest System was quick to install, can be reconfigured as needed, and very reasonable when compared to installing a permanent fall arrest system that could only be used in one location."
In May 2017, NAVFAC Hawaii purchased its FLS Fall Arrest System for approximately $63,000, after receiving command Safety Office approval. It was manufactured, shipped to Hawaii, and installed in July 2017.
"We received the very first of the new, redesigned FLS Quad Rail System," said Kuklok. "Installation started on July 17 and was 95 percent completed by the end of the first day. The company representative and I had the system 100 percent operational by 8 a.m. on July 18."
The freestanding Mobile Quad Rail System provides portable overhead anchor points on a single solid, 34 foot aluminum rail. The frame is powder coated aluminum with zinc-plated steel for corrosion resistance and durability. The system is strong, but lightweight enough at 4,000 pounds that two employees can easily move it by hand.
The system satisfies both federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and NAVFAC policies on fall arrest systems for any work required above four feet. It enables technicians to safely traverse over any vehicle or equipment within the command's transportation compound without permanently affixed it to a specific vehicle bay.
"My technicians took to the fall arrest system immediately," said Kuklok. "They can hookup easily and the frame can support two employees working at the same time on different parts of a vehicle or piece of equipment. There are so many potential uses for this fall arrest system with its height and adjustability, it really is endless. Anywhere we need to work above four feet, over something, this system appears to be an answer we were looking for."
Various personnel at NAVFAC Hawaii are interested and analyzing alternate uses for this new piece of equipment, and the command is considering adding a few more to its inventory.
"Performing maintenance working on top of mobile cranes and heavy equipment are inherently dangerous. However, through experience, training, and using the precise equipment for the job, the risks can almost be eliminated," said NAVFAC Hawaii Transportation Product Line Team Leader Daniel McMoore. "We will continue to look for and invest in innovative and cost-effective devices in the marketplace to help mitigate risks for our workers."