Climbing and Safety Gear at Work

I work in the manufacturing industry. We make aircraft. My hobby as a rock climber and having vertical rescue training actually pay off in my job. I work a lot from ropes. I lower myself down from fall protection posts anchored to the steel framing of the hangars where the aircraft are at during final assembly. It is a routine job even though I am suspended above the concrete floor for hours at a time. The safety equipment is what I rely on to be able to go home every day.fall-protection

It starts with the metal fall protection posts that are attached to steel. They are capable of arresting falls, and are made to also provide support during suspension work also known as abseil, which is German for “rope down.” The posts are made to last. The next piece of critical equipment is the rope. It has to last for daily use for a good amount of time before needing replaced. They are inspected every shift, and each worker has his or her own ropes and harnesses. That is the other piece of safety gear I rely on-my harness. It has to bear my weight comfortably as I am hanging in the air.

Lateral movement is like being a clock pendulum. You have to go up an down and sideways to get to where you want, otherwise you just swing in an arc. For projects where we do a lot of lateral movement, we are connected to a rail that we can move our attachment point left and right. Mostly I work vertically from top to bottom. Then I reach the floor, go off rope, climb to the top up a ladder or stairs then reset a little to the side and climb back down to continue working on the next section. It is kind of fun to get all the rope practice since it is also for a hobby and volunteer rescue work I do.