Fall Protection Systems Improve Safety at Intergulf
Intergulf Corporation is a leading industrial liquids management company specializing in procuring, blending, treating, and processing petroleum, petrochemical co-products, and waste streams. The Intergulf Corporation manages three facilities, strategically located along the Houston Ship Channel, and operates in five business segments: waste & recycle, petroleum products, marine services, distillation, and hazardous waste transportation.
In 2012, Intergulf’s Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Stephen Wallace, began to investigate various fall protection systems to help ensure the safety of workers who perform routine duties on top of tanker trucks at three separate facilities. Most tanker trucks are approximately fourteen feet tall, and combined with the unusual cylindrical shape of the tanks, can pose a real safety risk to workers who have to climb around on top of them.
After meeting with sales expert James Allen from Ingersoll Rand—a third party distributer for Rigid Lifelines—Wallace looked to engineers at Rigid Lifelines to improve the safety of their workers. Rigid Lifelines designed and manufactured a total of six fall protection systems, all specially customized to meet the unique needs of each facility and to eliminate potential fall hazards.
Fall Protection Systems at the Bay Port Facility
Among the six fall protection systems designed by Rigid Lifelines, three are located in Pasadena, Texas at their Bay Port facility, which is used for wastewater and oil recycling. Intergulf needed to install three unique fall protection systems at the Bay Port facility to ensure the protection of workers who sample, treat, load and unload liquid waste from the top of tanker trucks.
At the Bay Port facility, Rigid Lifelines designed a 70-foot long Inverted-U fall protection system in “the pit”, which is an area workers use to load and unload waste materials. This particular system fits one truck and includes one fall protection track that runs parallel with the truck beneath it. It also includes four columns, two headers, and two SRL’s, so that two workers can connect to the system at any given time.
The second fall protection system Rigid Lifelines designed for the Bay Port facility is located in the sampling area. This area is used for taking samples of waste materials, along with loading and unloading trucks. Engineers at Rigid Lifelines specifically designed this system to meet their needs in regard to space and size. The system is heavily customized to include a 70-foot Fold Away fall protection track that extends out from columns with boom arms that lock into place. The boom arms allow adequate support for the track without the need for headers. The track covers a total of six trucks, five between the columns and one at the end. This one-of-a-kind system includes seven SRL’s and runs perpendicular to the trucks beneath it, allowing for maximum use of space and time.
The third system Rigid Lifelines designed for the Bay Port facility is located in the containment area. The containment area is set up similar to a long driveway, where trucks can pull in and out in a singular line and workers can access the waste materials from the top. Engineers at Rigid Lifelines designed a 300-foot Inverted-U fall protection system to accommodate the needs of this part of the facility. The system fits five trucks and includes one track that runs parallel with trucks, seven headers, fourteen columns, and ten SRL’s.
Fall Protection Systems at the Marine Terminal
Two of the fall protection systems designed by Rigid Lifelines are installed at Intergulf’s Marine Terminal facility, located along the Houston Ship Channel. The Marine Terminal is Intergulf’s transfer facility, which is used to unload barges to ship materials to different locations. Although these two systems are almost identical, Stephen Wallace believes that they highlight the diversity and flexibility of Rigid Lifelines’ fall protection systems.
Both of the systems at the Marine Terminal facility were designed to accommodate two trucks at any given time. These systems are slightly different than the four other systems installed at Intergulf. Instead of including one fall protection track, the systems at Marine Terminal include two rigid tracks that run parallel to the trucks. Each of the two systems is 70 feet in length and can accommodate two trucks. They both include two headers, however, only one of the systems includes four columns. The other system includes two columns on one side and is fully supported on the other side by a pipe bridge. Engineers designed this system to accommodate several components of the Marine Terminal facility, including the pipe bridge, in order to achieve a multi-functional and ergonomic design and to maximize space. Each system includes four SRL’s (two SRL’s installed on each track), for a grand total of eight. Part of the distinct nature of this “two banger” system is that the SRL’s on each track can cross over one another, because they are running on two separate tracks.
Fall Protection System at 225
The final system designed by Rigid Lifelines is installed at Intergulf’s Route 225 facility, which is used for product blending and processing. This is the only system installed at Intergulf that includes four fall protection tracks. The system itself accommodates four trucks and runs parallel with them. It includes eight columns, two headers, and a total of eight SRL’s.
Rigid Lifelines designed a total of six fall protection systems for Intergulf Corporation, many of which were completely customized for maximum efficiency and to meet the needs of their unique applications. According to Stephen Wallace, “Intergulf is more than happy with the end result. Each system demonstrates the flexibility of Rigid Lifeline’s products.” Wallace also noted that two of the six systems were installed in one day, while the others took only two days to complete. He explained that the usability and ease of installation of Rigid Lifeline’s fall protection systems made the entire process much more pleasant than he anticipated.