Swing Arm Fall Protection System Improves Safety and Productivity for Manufacturing Application

For nearly 140 years, FLSmidth has worked tirelessly to provide crushing equipment for mining, cement, and aggregate industries. In fact, they have been the leading provider to the worldwide cement industry since they were founded in 1882. In addition, the company has also invested heavily to develop new solutions for energy and emissions challenges as they arise. Although FLSmidth uses its own in-house resources, including engineers who develop, plan, design, install, and service equipment, most of their production is outsourced to sub-suppliers.

In 2012, Shop Superintendent Mike Downs reached out to local Rigid Lifelines' dealer Illinois Electric Works to inquire about a fall protection system for his employees in their Illinois-based Crusher Manufacturing Division. This particular facility requires workers to install, service, maintain, and manufacture parts and entire systems quickly and efficiently. These tasks are critical to the success of the company, but they also require workers to climb atop large crusher machines, which can be very dangerous. The work area is also used as a large pressure test area for the Cone Crusher, one of FLSmidth’s most popular products. It was designed to achieve top performance in the field of fine-reduction crushing.

According to Mr. Downs, his workers were timid about climbing onto the crushers, which would undoubtedly present grave danger if one of them were to fall. At first, workers would tie off to overhead machinery, but Mr. Downs wasn’t satisfied with that solution and wanted a system that would ensure his workers made it home safely each and every day. After filling out an online fall protection questionnaire, Mr. Downs was contacted by Mike Bongner from Illinois Electric. Mr. Downs was pleasantly surprised by their quick response time and wealth of product knowledge. After a careful assessment of their operation, Mr. Bongner recommended a Freestanding Swing Arm Fall Protection system from Rigid Lifelines, with full 360-degree rotation for their circular coverage area.


The freestanding swing arm includes a dual fall arrest track, permitting two workers to use the same system at the same time. The dual track even allows workers to pass one another as they work side-by-side. The entire system spans 20 feet, with 15 feet height under boom, and including a multi-position boom lock to stop the trolley from moving along the track when necessary. According to Mike Downs, “The guys love the mobility of the system, and so far we are very pleased with it. We strive to put safety first, even if it means jeopardizing production to improve worker safety. “But,” he continues “with our new Freestanding Swing Arm from Rigid Lifelines, we get to have both.”


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Kristina Harman

Senior Technical Writer | Rigidlifelines.com
Kristina Harman was formerly a senior technical writer and content manager for Rigid Lifelines, a division of Spanco, Inc. Kristina has twelve years of experience in content development, technical communications, and copyediting. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in English from Towson University and a Master of Education Certification in English from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Society for Technical Communication and the American Medical Writers Association.