Nine times out of ten, handrails beat safety lines

At a recent site visit, one of our customers reminded me why handrails are so much better than safety lines. Having recently upgraded to a walkway and handrail system, he was extolling their virtues. Here are some of the reasons why a Monkeytoe access system with handrails is better than a safety line.

You can go it alone
Safety lines require you to work in pairs in case of a fall. The safety line doesn’t stop you from falling; it just catches you before you fall too far. And if you do fall, your co-worker has to be ready to pull you up, which is no mean feat. There are technologies that can monitor lone workers, but that in itself is another expense – and if someone is hanging on a harness with all that pressure on their lower body, time is vital.

You don’t have to gear up
Have you tried to put on a safety line harness lately? Besides needing an instruction manual, these things are cumbersome and they limit mobility. Once you are ensconced in your harness, having to connect from one line to another as you move across the roof takes time. If the purpose of your visit is as simple as taking an instrument reading, by using safe walkways and handrails you can often have the job done and be back in the office by the time you are still getting into a harness.

You don’t have to train users
Safety line users require training. The site that I visited recently had close to 50 staff, and back in the old days these personnel had to be trained before they could access the roof. The company found it difficult to schedule time for the training, and had to do it at great expense, prior to upgrading to handrail access.

No refresher courses are required
Certification for safety lines needs to be updated every year. Again, for big companies this is a huge expense – not only in the cost of providing training, but also in the staff downtime set aside for that training. Keeping people safe and saving money at the same time is always a good thing.

You create a safe environment
Providing handrails to walkways and platforms immediately creates a safe environment. This means no special inductions are required, no safety equipment is needed, and access is immediate. Instead of arresting a fall, you are preventing one – and prevention is always the best medicine.

You don’t wear out your roof
Safety lines limit where you can walk on the roof – which in itself is not a bad thing. The problem is, over time, tradespersons tend to walk over the same areas, creating well-worn tracks, with the result that the roof suffers around the safety lines. A Monkeytoe walkway system is off the roof and therefore doesn’t cause damage.

The one in ten
There is a place for safety lines – often where access is so specific that it can’t be met with walkways and platforms. Often it’s to perform window cleaning, or other activities that require you to be right on the edge. This is the one time out of ten that safety lines are required.

For the rest of the time, have a chat with us and we can help you design an access system that will suit your needs.

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