ESi was retained by the manufacturer of personal fall protection equipment to perform a safety analysis and documented risk assessment of a newly designed detachable cable sleeve. This product provides fall protection for workers climbing fixed vertical ladders in multiple industrial applications (e.g. telecommunications towers, wind turbines, etc.). Workers often must climb hundreds of feet into the air on ladders equipped with a cable-based safety system that runs the full length of climb in order to perform their job. The cable sleeve is the device that secures the climber’s fall protection harness to the cable. ESi utilized its experience with safety standards, climbing protection, fall arrest systems, product development, safety testing, human factors, and the risk assessment process to evaluate and document the safety of this design.
As part of this analysis, ESi evaluated numerous applicable international and domestic safety standards that apply to this product, concentrating on laboratory testing requirements and related performance criteria. ESi analyzed the manufacturer’s testing facilities and laboratory protocols with respect to safety standards requirements, thoroughness, and relevance to real-world loading situations. In conjunction with the manufacturer’s engineers and other knowledgeable corporate personnel, ESi guided a team through a detailed, documented risk assessment following the process described in ANSI B11.0- Safety of Machinery—General Requirements and Risk Assessment.
This process identified potential hazards associated with the use and reasonably foreseeable misuse of the product, estimated the level of severity and probability of occurrence associated with those hazardous situations, and assigned initial risk levels accordingly. ESi identified and recommended additional laboratory testing, field testing and focus group studies for the manufacturer. ESi also identified a need for new safety information and assisted with incorporating this warnings and instructions language into the on-product labels and instruction manual. All the risk reduction measures employed in the product design were documented in the risk assessment report and reflected in the final assigned risk levels. The final risk assessment report included numerous supporting documents of test reports, customer feedback, and detailed design drawings.
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