FallTech is vigilant about updating, testing and retesting its products.
Fall protection in the construction industry is the top cited OSHA standard violation during the past year. This is scary, because unfortunately 381 out of 971 total deaths in construction in the United States last year were because of falls, according to OSHA. Contractors and construction firms want to keep their people protected, and FallTech is proud to play a role in construction workers’ safety and protection. But fall protection is more than a job for FallTech, it is the company’s mission.
Based in Compton, Calif, FallTech has been designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art fall protection products from its own facility since 1991. Its commitment to reliable performance, unsurpassed value and the best-possible service combines with an in-house ISO 17025 accredited test lab to ensure every FallTech product meets or exceeds ANSI and OSHA standards. In addition to its high-quality product line, FallTech offers safety training as well as helping clients identify fall safety hazards, write fall protection plans and engineer anchorage solutions.
At its core, however, FallTech remains dedicated to the highest manufacturing standards to ensure it delivers the best fall protection equipment. According to Vice President of Sales Scott Miller, this requires testing and a constant focus on the industry’s highest standards, both of which FallTech is vigilant about.
“Every piece of equipment we make is required to be tested with third-party witnesses in the lab,” Miller explains. “We have an ISO 17025 lab and use a very strict process for how the lab operates and executes testing, so the testing remains consistent. Additionally, as a manufacturer we have ISO 9001 accreditation, which establishes that the company has an active quality management system in place. It ensures the consistency in the quality of our products today is the same as it was 10 years ago. Both our lab and manufacturing facility are certified to ANSI Z359. We also re-certify our products every five years as part of our ISO quality program.”
Beyond the Scope
Regulations in the safety industry change rapidly, but FallTech remains knowledgeable of the changes as part of its safety mission. This includes an important focus on leading-edge protection. Miller explains OSHA’s leading-edge standard has changed four times since it was introduced in 2012, and even though it can be challenging to keep up, FallTech strives to provide “simple answers in a complex world.” In doing so, it helps to ensure its clients understand what the standards mean and require at jobsites.
“We educate and consult as the standards change, while also designing products that go beyond the scope of the standard,” Miller says. “We offer several solutions to the .14 leading-edge standard, including leading-edge cable lanyards, large 25-foot to 60-foot self-retracting devices (SRDs) and a smaller 9-foot personal leading-edge SRD, as well. There is a good, rounded offering from FallTech in the marketplace with these products.”
One of the company’s newest products is its DuraTech 9-foot LE Personal SRLs, which are uniquely designed for applications where there are sharp and abrasive leading edges. “Our competition has had a similar product, and through end-user feedback and customer communication, we knew this was something we needed to innovate on,” Engineering Manager Zack Winters explains. “This can be attached to the back of a harness and meets all of the .14 leading-edge requirements. We also added unique features to help make the user more comfortable and provide a smooth walking speed with no nuisance lockup of the SRD. We designed it to enable the user be productive in the field.”
Flexible and Faster
Not only does FallTech remain knowledgeable about all of the changes and new requirements in the safety industry, the company also plays a role in establishing the standards. Winters is a voting representative for FallTech on the ANSI Z359 committee. He is officially part of the .14 (SRDs), .17 (HLLs) and .18 (Anchorage Connectos) subcommittees. This is another example of FallTech’s dedication to safety and high standards in the industry.
“We are involved in these processes, working with end users, manufacturers, government organizations and consulting businesses,” Winters explains. “FallTech plays a part by providing our knowledge of the products and how they should be used so the standards make sense. What emerges has to be something the end user understands. Most people we do business with don’t know all of the risks, challenges and concerns associated with fall protection equipment, because that’s only a small part of what they do on the job site.”
Fall protection and creating a culture of safety is FallTech’s main concern, so the company is constantly updating, testing and retesting its products to ensure they keep workers safe. By being flexible in how it adapts to changing industry requirements and the needs of users, FallTech continues to exceed expectations.
“There are 40-something manufacturers of fall protection products many of whom import, but we manufacture 85 percent of our products at our facility in Compton, Calif., plus we have our own ISO testing lab,” Miller says. “We can move faster because we do our own testing in our certified lab. A lot of competitors source their products and rely on international testing that sometimes is not aligned with the standards. As a result, they don’t have the control over their products that we do over ours.”