Leading Salt Distributor Upgrades to Mobile Fall Protection System


Salt City, Inc. based out of Westfield Massachusetts, is a leading salt distributor specializing in the distribution of road salt to surrounding municipalities and townships. The salt comes in on railcars, which are unloaded through a hatch at the bottom of the car and onto a conveyor below. Typically the salt flows out of the bottom hatch with ease, but sometimes complications occur. For example, the salt sticks together in big chunks and needs to be broken apart to fit through the hatch. The only way to access the salt is through a hatch on the top of the railcar. A metal rod with a chisel on the end is used to break apart the salt. As large chunks are broken up, the railcar begins to rock and shake, which exposes the workers to serious fall hazards. Salt City’s original fall protection method was a ladder, leading up to a platform with a small rail around it. Workers were able to tie off onto the railing and climb on top of the railcar. In the event of a mishap, this system may prevent a fall, but could still cause serious injuries.


The operational technology manager for Salt City reached out to Jack Norton from Warner Specialty Products, Inc. for a fall protection safety evaluation to determine if they needed to upgrade their current system. Jack visited the facility along with Rigid Lifelines®’ rep Timothy O’Leary, and Mike Gaugh, facility manager for Salt City. O’Leary felt they needed a dexterously engineered fall protection system to keep workers safe when climbing on top of railcars. Rigid Lifelines, along with the management team at Salt City decided that a Griffin™ would best fit their fall protection needs. The specific system that was installed is a 20-foot by 28-foot mobile skidded Griffin with dual tracks for two-person passability.

Rigid Lifelines’ rep Timothy O’Leary conducted a daylong training orientation on the safe use of their new system. The training covered a variety of safety standards and regulations, for example, the correct way to put on a harness, how to tie-off properly, how the overall system works, and a variety of ways to help them formulate a rescue plan.


According to Salt City’s facility manager Mike Gaugh, their new Griffin fall protection system is ergonomic, highly effective, and surprisingly easy to use. Workers are able to access and use their safety equipment quickly and conveniently. The system allows workers to access the top hatch of the railcar and free up any stuck salt that will not filter through the bottom hatch and onto the conveyor.

The skidded Griffin system is also completely mobile and can be easily moved from location to location with a forklift. This mobile system provides a fixed path of fall protection coverage up to 30 degrees off center, and is perfect for protecting workers who need to access vehicles or aircraft for any purpose. With the assurance of Rigid Lifelines’ Skidded Griffin, the workers at Salt City are able to complete their job safely and effectively with less possibility of a fall event.