A large lumber mill
  • Fall Protection
  • General Industry
  • Engineered Systems

A large lumber mill

From custom product to final installation

A large lumber mill, with multiple buildings across 15 different locations, had no fall protection in place. Following new ownership, a company mandate required a transition to 100% tie-off for anyone working at heights above four feet, to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations. 

A unique system for a challenging project

A unique system for a challenging project

As the buildings were all 30-40 years old, there were no records of the structures, so it was essential to do site walks and perform structural analyses at all locations. The structures came back as minimal for what was needed, so Guardian was presented with an unusual and challenging job: every building and attachment required unique solutions – often needing to be installed in areas with limited fall clearance – while still permitting mobility across the entire work area. 

In addition, many of the mill workers would now be required to be tied off for the first time in their working lives. So, it was important to design a system that would suit their needs: efficient and safe, permitting access to all necessary areas, and that didn’t interfere with either the yard’s machinery or their day-to-day tasks.

Innovative layouts and attachment methods

Due to the buildings’ structural challenges, Guardian’s team had to be extremely creative with new layouts and when designing unique attachment methods – such as clamping to beams rather than welding or drilling through them. Fall clearances were also very low, requiring intersecting systems and multiple runs of lifelines to ensure the tie-off point would always be overhead.

Although every building was different, the system type was deliberately kept the same across all locations, so workers could move between them safely.

 

From custom product to final installation

Despite a challenging brief, Guardian succeeded in the original goal: to engineer and manufacture custom products, and – working with a team of third-party installers – complete final installation. In addition, the team oversaw all necessary training and recertification. 

 

Challenge

A large lumber mill, comprising multiple older buildings across different locations, had no fall protection in place. The challenge was to transition to 100% tie-off for workers, in line with OSHA regulations.

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Solution

Due to the age of the buildings, there were no records of the structures, so it was essential to provide detailed analysis of each individual location. The these came back as minimal for what was needed, so Guardian had to create innovative solutions for each building: allowing for non-penetrating attachment to existing beams without compromising the integrity of the buildings, and ensuring 100% overhead tie-off for workers at height.

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