The Gorge Dam is one of a series of dams with hydroelectric power-generating stations located on the Skagit River in northern Washington State. Operations and maintenance personnel are required to ascend a ships ladder to access the upper level of the superstructure, which exposes them to potential fall hazards. The system originally designed for accessing the superstructure was built in the 1930’s, and with the advancements in fall protection safety regulations, it was determined that additional systems needed to be installed to minimize a possible fall event.


The existing guardrail had been coated in a lead based paint when it was first installed. Special training was required and hazmat suits were donned to perform work on the guardrail due to its hazardous properties.  In addition, a temporary HLL(Horizontal Lifeline) was installed to provide a safe means to perform the work on the entire surface area of the superstructure.


Gravitec installed a custom fall protection system to allow for the safe ascent and descent while using the ships ladder. This came to be in the form of a single point anchor frame in conjunction with a SRD(Self Retracting Device).  To accompany the refresh on the ships ladder, the entire perimeter guardrail on the upper level of the superstructure was replaced.


Gravitec successfully designed, fabricated and installed a single point anchor frame with SRD(Self Retracting Device) on the superstructure for safe ascent and descent to the superstructure. The entire perimeter guardrail was also replaced on the upper level of the superstructure.