Rail change-out is a standard job.... Until the gang gets to the bridge.
When on a railroad bridge performing this job, workers are exposed to the hazard of falling, if physical barriers are not in place. While the installation of permanent guardrails provides the greatest protection by eliminating the hazard, it is not a cost effective solution.
How can we protect the workers from the Fall Hazard?
This question has been a thorn in the side for many track gangs in the past. Typically, workers must be trained and provided with Fall Arrest equipment, and rescue/retrieval systems. They must be competent in the usage of such equipment should a fall occur. Again, this is not the most cost effective solution.
Enter the Shuttle Fall Prevention System.
The Shuttle Fall Prevention System was designed specifically for the Railroad Industry. With a mandate to design a FallPrevention System during rail change-out, ISM went to work. As with all projects, ISM gathered t necessary information from the workers, the B&B Masters, and discussed some viable options with the FRA.
With a working model, a field test was conducted on a 10’ wide mock bridge (painted lines as seen on photo) The test proved to be very successful and was quickly accepted by both Management and the Workers.
What exactly is the Shuttle System?
The ISM Shuttle Fall Prevention System allows the Track Gangs to pass over a bridge during a rail change-out almost as if there was no bridge at all. Workers can not reach the Fall Hazard when connected to the system, using the prescribed Personal Protective Equipment. Workers connect to the System before the Fall Hazard exists, and disconnect from it after the Hazard no longer exists
At the root of the Shuttle System is a cable to which "Shuttle Travelers" are permanently attached. The Shuttle Travelers provide unobstructed mobility along the length of the bridge, enabling workers to reach all points of their task perimeters safely, all the while eliminating the Fall Hazard. All Systems come with 2 end anchors for System termination. The System is designed for 3 users between Shuttle Bays. Systems can be Piggy Backed for longer bridges, allowing a multitude of users simultaneously.
The Shuttle System has been engineered, field tested and proven. Worker acceptance has been 100%.
During rail change outs, the gliding of the continuous rail over the Shuttle Bays posed no problems to the integrity of the system, or the efficiency of the task.