CUSTOM EQUIPMENT & TRAINING
For satellite television providers, the interplay between properly protecting installers and maintaining homeowner satisfaction had always been troublesome. On one hand, OSHA demands certain fall protection requirements be met when workers perform tasks at height. And for those working at height on roofs, fall protection was limited to roof-penetrating equipment. On the other hand, drilling holes into a homeowner’s roof can negatively affect customer satisfaction and potentially threaten the long-term viability of a consumer relationship. DIRECTV took a proactive, leading role in the industry to find a solution to this conundrum rather than attempting to circumnavigate regulations, and sought out Gravitec Systems Inc. for assistance.
The fall protection solution could not penetrate the homeowner’s roof. The system had to offer 100 percent fall protection, meaning the worker is protected from the moment they ascend the ladder to the time their feet return to the ground. The design needed to be applicable to a variety of home styles and property layouts. A fall protection solution that added considerable time to worker tasks would not be a feasible option, and therefore ease-of-use was a chief concern.
Gravitec developed an innovative fall arrest system – the Non-Penetrating Fall Protection System (Non-Pen FPS) – as well as performed all engineering, fabrication and testing within Gravitec’s facility and ISO-accredited laboratory. Included within the system:
- A slingshot mechanism that allows the user to string a lifeline over the house and anchor it on the other side, ensuring that the worker can install the fall protection system quickly and be provided 100 percent fall protection through job completion
- Three anchor methods to afford workers the ability to anchor the lifeline in any property layout without damage to homeowner property: a vehicle hitch anchor, concrete anchor and counterweight anchor
Gravitec also developed a training program for DIRECTV that summarized the proper installation and use of the Non-Pen system. 120 trainers and 300 supervisors were trained on the system, and subsequently, DIRECTV has trained an estimated 4,000 workers.
When faced with the challenge presented, Gravitec seized the opportunity to develop an innovative system for residential fall protection. The first of its kind, the Non-Pen FPS filled the need in the residential work-at-height sector for a fall protection system that was non-penetrating and provided workers with 100 percent fall protection. With this system’s development, Gravitec proved that safety does not have to be sacrificed in the name of customer satisfaction.