There are some quite high places on Britain’s railways. Viaducts, tunnel portals, station roofs, ventilation shafts, signal gantries and even the tops of trains. All are places that railway workers visit regularly, and they then all need the necessary protection to allow them to work at height.
So out come climbers’ helmets, ropes, harnesses, special boots and all the other assorted paraphernalia.
But wait! Ropes and cables are all very well, but what to attach them to? Is there a handy tree, or bracket, or stanchion? Probably not.
What there will be, or at least should be, is a properly mounted fall protection anchorage point which workers can clip their harnesses to. Looking like a conventional eyebolt, you can see them all over the railway infrastructure if you look closely, and upwards.
Actually, they aren’t just conventional eyebolts. There is quite a bit more involved than that. For a start they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. One leading manufacturer, RUD Chains, offers more than 600 different tested and certified lifting and lashing points which cover a working load capacity range from 0.6 to 250 tonne.
The RUD Fall Protection anchorage point product range consists of the PSA-VRS (STARPOINT) and the PSA INOX-STAR, which are certified by the Employers Liability Insurance Association and the Building Industry (BG Bau). The components correspond to the European Directive for ‘personnel protection equipment’ (89/686/EWG) and are marked with the CE-Stamp as well as with the number of persons (1 or 2) that can be safely supported.
PSA INOX-STAR offers many distinctive features. It can be used as an anchor point for personal protective equipment according to DIN EN 795, certified by the German BG BAU. It offers an impressive 50 per cent higher working load limit than the DIN eye bolt and can be turned and adjusted through 360° to any load direction. The PSA INOX-STAR is 100 per cent crack detected and offers a high resistance to corrosion.
RUD’s PSA STARPOINT, also used as an anchor point for personal protective equipment, offers a safety factor of 4:1. It is made from 1.6541 (23MnNiCrMo5-2) high-tensile steel and is 100 per cent electromagnetic crack inspected according to EN 1677-1.
Regularly used across the rail sector when working at heights for projects such as bridge construction and tunnelling, RUD Fall Protection equipment is also used in other industries such as offshore, construction, wind tower maintenance installation and maintenance.