Safety Lanyard Monitoring System?

Discussion in 'Safety - General Safety Issues' started by 100% Tied Off, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. 100% Tied Off

    100% Tied Off Industry Observer

    Could a Safety lanyard monitoring system save lives?

    Ok so I tend to be one of those people that think's about solutions. I am going to throw this out in the community with no regards to patent rights by me or others. If I am shooting myself in the foot here then so be it.

    The industry needs solutions and this might be one.

    Imagine if you will, pulling a new lanyard out of a shipping carton you just received from your supplier. Your new 6’, double hook, shock absorbing lanyard has both the hooks attached to a small weather resistant yellow box, WITH, a small numbered key pad on one side and a thing that looks like a magnet attached to the other side.

    You open the instructions and begin to read. The instructions inform you that you have a special access code and you should remember this code. 8433633.

    The instructions go on to tell you the following.
    To use this Safety lanyard monitoring system, attach lanyard to your harness,
    attach box to tower with built in magnet, enter your access code and hit enter, remove your hooks from holsters of yellow box. You will hear a beeping sound, attach your safety lanyard monitoring system hook or hooks to the tower. The beeping should stop.

    You now have a safety system that will monitor when both hooks are removed from the tower steel. As long as you have one safety lanyard in you are 100% tied off. If you start to hear beeping you are not tied off to the tower steel. When you finish your work for the day and your feet are on the ground, remove your safety lanyard hooks from the tower, place them in the yellow box holsters and log out using your code.

    Well by now you probably understand the basic concept of the Idea. The box would have a transmitter/receiver built into it and the lanyard a small transmitter/receiver. When the two units are disconnected by removing both your lanyards from the tower steel, your lanyard attached to your back begins to beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, hay hook in.

    Bringing to your attention you are not 100% tied off.

    Features could be incorporated into the yellow box. Date, Time stamp in /time stamp out. Could track the number of incidences all downloadable by Wi-Fi by the employer or hum mm OSHA? Did I just say that? Hay could prove you were Tied off. Just thinking out loud here.

    Ascending and descending a tower on a Lad safe system would have to get worked out? Battery issues? Etc.

    So there you have it! “IDEA” SPILLED!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2014
  2. tfowler

    tfowler Friend of the Community

    WOW! Great post 100%. Thanks for "spilling" a great idea. People like you will help this industry save lives by creating a dialogue from all sectors of the business. I don't know what your position is, but it really doesn't matter. Great ideas don't require a title or years of experience. They only require someone to give considerable thought to something as you did and then get others to expand upon what you've said.
    100% Tied Off likes this.
  3. 100% Tied Off

    100% Tied Off Industry Observer

    Thanks tfowler, I came up with this Idea yesterday having my morning coffee and reading wireless estimator. (By the way, a wonderful way to start your day) I had just finished reading this article:

    Pervasive free-climbing seen as a top concern by OSHA/FCC working group addressing fatalities.

    I thought about the practices and equipment that are in place now, and the “Sign before you climb” Concept. Also the complacent issue that was brought out, in a post on a wireless estimator forum. (I agree with the complacent issue. One tends to forget and becomes so comfortable hundreds of feet in the air, you go about your work with little regard to that fact. )

    I thought just signing a document before climbing wasn’t enough. How can this be taken a step farther? What can be done to” remind you” your hundreds of feet in the air, right when you needed to be reminded. Beep, beep, beep, beep, BEEP. Yes something that tells me I am in danger.

    So the moment I grab that second Safety lanyard and lift it off the steel and begin squeezing the safety gate and it senses no safety lanyards on the steel. Beep, Beep “I Got it.” I spent the next couple hours walking in a circle processing the rest of the Idea. Jotting down pieces of thoughts.

    Additional thought about this system:
    The Yellow Box could have a lock system that locks the safety lanyards to the box.
    The lanyards can only be removed by the user entering a code.
    When the code is entered the system turns on and begins beeping and monitoring. The climber must hook a safety lanyard to the tower to stop the beep, beep.
    The climber has just digitally signed before you climb. And started “documenting the climb”.
    When the climber returns to the ground, unhooks from the steel, the system beep, beep, reminds him he needs to place both safety lanyards into the YELLOW Box and log out of the climb.
    When he logs out the lanyards are again put into a locked position with in the box.


    Implement the Solutions: Identifying and Adopting Best Practices, the second panel, had panelists Jonathan Campbell, PCIA; John Johnson, Black & Veach; Craig Lekutis,; Art Pregler, AT&T; Paul Roberts, American Tower Corporation; and Todd Schlekeway, NATE. Moderators were Michael Janson, Legal Advisor, WTB, FCC, and Jim Maddux, Director, Directorate of Construction, OSHA, DOL.

    My hope is Craig Lekutis can carry this message to the Panel he is working with.

    Action Plan Idea.
    OSHA, DOL (RFP) Request for Proposal For the design, engineering, testing, manufacturing and distribution of such a system.

    I find wireless estimator a wonderful source of information. I also feel this can be a platform for improvements in our industry. I ask everyone to spread the word about wireless estimator. Let’s get more people and more Ideas into the right hands who are in the company of the right people to make a difference in our industry. We are on the dawn of a new day for our industry. Now is the Time to stand up and let it all out. No naming, names or finger pointing. Just point out the problem and continue on a path for improvement and solutions.
  4. Wireless Estimator

    Wireless Estimator Administrator Staff Member

    As discussed recently during the panel session on safety in Washington, the industry’s problems don’t always have to be solved by a top-down approach.
    There is so much unearthed talent out there as witnessed by 100% Tied Off’s constructive lanyard monitoring ideas which should get everyone’s creative juices flowing.

    We’re truly appreciative of his desire to get the industry to address problems and continue on a path for improvement and solutions in a positive manner. And we’re humbled by his kind comments regarding Wireless Estimator.

    Hopefully, a safety monitoring system can become a reality and help to save lives. But there needs to be input from government sectors, trade groups, manufacturers and others in the safety community.

    Some of the real industry movers and shakers are the men and women who are willing to share their wealth of knowledge and offer their well-received comments and suggestions in our forum in an open and professional manner.

    And we, along with their peers, sincerely thank them.
  5. Climber 1997

    Climber 1997 Industry Observer

    How would you prevent all of the RF from giving false positives on the system?
    100% Tied Off likes this.
  6. 100% Tied Off

    100% Tied Off Industry Observer

    Climber 1997 “GREAT QUESTION”
    I can’t answer it.
    However we are a community here at wireless estimator.
    How can we get this question answered? Here let’s try this.
    Community I am speaking to YOU.
    Each and every one of you.
    If you, or someone you know, is an RF Engineer Please chime in, or
    Contact that person, explain what is going on and how they can give back to an industry that is feeding them. We need this device in the field ASAP.
    If you know a harness manufacturer get them in here, sign them up, you can’t comment in this community if you’re not signed up.
    We need this device in the field ASAP.
    And if you have picked the idea up here and you are already working on it give us an update to that fact.

    I hope it will not have to take the Long route. Apply for a DOL, OSHA, FCC, Grant For research.
    Could PCIA, NATE, TIA, and Pool Funds and get the ball rolling?
    It seems to me with the right people you could get a prototype built and begin testing it in less than a month. Test it in a 24/7 Robotic Lab, performing hook and unhook function for another 30 days/720 hours. Cycling at a rate of one hook every 10 seconds and double unhook every 6th interval as a check. That equals 5 regular cycles a minute at 300 regular cycles an hour and 60 double unhooks an hour. Adding up to 216,000 regular cycles and 43,200 double unhooks for the check, all the time logging the events. I have been to DBI, Sala Test Lab they could pull this piece off easily. Now if you climbed a 1000’ a day you would have a minimum of 2000 hook cycles going up and back down. Now if you did 2000 hook cycles every day for 5 days a week X 52 days a year you have a yearly total of around 520,000 cycles. Do we do this many hook cycles a day? , Week? Year?, DBI Sala May have that data regarding their product life cycle.
    I think you can see I have a passion for this because it is needed and makes sense. Even when we climb with others and watch out for each other we couldn’t monitor the way this system could. Sorry Climber 1997 Best answer I can give you.
  7. BridgetteHester

    BridgetteHester Friend of the Community

    I think this is a HUGE step in the right direction! I am excited about this new system, and more importantly, I am excited that this kind of technology will save lives. I agree with one of the above posts that complacency is a problem with climbers. After years of doing the job and hours upon hours on a tower, it can become mundane, and it can also give way to a climber working on auto pilot. We all do it, regardless of the jobs we do.... just because you are 250 feet in the air doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

    From my perspective at Hubble Foundation, anything that will aid climbers as a safety measure is a win. I think there might be a bit of resistance from climbers that feel it is too time consuming or unnecessary, but the professionals in the field that know this could save lives, and the ones that truly recognize the potential will be on board. I am also particularly tickled at the idea of being able to capture the information for the offices of the companies using the harness and for OSHA in the event of an accident.

    We all know the naysayers will scream "big brother" and others will scream high costs. Granted, it might be somewhat costly at the beginning, but I think if this system were eventually mandated, there would be a cost reduction across insurance, workman's comp, law suits, etc... MOST importantly, the fatality list would start to shrink, and lives would be saved, and that is priceless!!!! I am tired of adding families to the fatality list. I love being able to help from my own tragedy, but I could live the rest of life just fine without having to call another family regarding the death of their loved one.

    This is a wonderful idea, and I can't wait until we can see a demonstration!

    Bridgette Hester, Ph.D.
    Hubble Foundation
    100% Tied Off likes this.
  8. LanyardAlert

    LanyardAlert Friend of the Community

    GREAT NEWS! My partners and I have created just such a personal fall detection monitoring system. Our device will allow remote monitoring of workers at elevation, providing employers with the ability to ensure 100% compliance. Without getting into the technical details, an audible alarm will alert climbers and ground crew that a worker is not tied off. The data is also recorded to provide proof of compliance.

    The idea has been 6+ years in the works! We have gone through a lengthy (and expensive) patent process and are now in the design and development stage. This life-saving device should be on the market by late spring 2015!

    If you have any ideas, questions or concerns, we'd love your input/feedback. Please email me at or call 865-740-7261. Our goal is to make this device mandatory so that no more climbers are injured or killed because they weren't tied off!
    100% Tied Off likes this.
  9. 100% Tied Off

    100% Tied Off Industry Observer

    This is Great News. Lanyard Alert thank you for bringing this to our attention. I can't wait to use one. This is a great new piece of safety equipment. Thank you!
  10. Wireless Estimator

    Wireless Estimator Administrator Staff Member

    The patent for the personal fall detection monitoring system is available here.

    It answers one of the questions in this thread as to whether the heavy RF on a tower could cause false positives. In short, no. The inventors state that the receiver is protected from stray radiation through the use of a collimator.

    The enterprise, JCJ Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn., is reportedly in the process of working with one of the industry’s largest harness manufacturers. They’re currently in the process of completing a working model.

    Inventors of the unit are William Flynt; Hillboro, N.H.; Shawn Remington, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Jacob Martin, Oak Ridge, Tenn; and Timothy Vile, Rutland, Vt.
    100% Tied Off likes this.
  11. 100% Tied Off

    100% Tied Off Industry Observer

    WOW..... Thank You ! for gathering the information. It will be a wonderful system for so many different reasons. This will point out the good and bad climbers. Helping everyone who wants to do it safe."STAY SAFE."
  12. Not so new guy

    Not so new guy Friend of the Community

    What about the false sense of security from guys, or gals, throwing a rebar hook over a mushroom peg just to avoid the beep, when they should be hooking back to themselves over a weldment. How do you avoid the beep when climbing through a section of double angle 3"x 3"x 1/4". This whole system sounds like a nuisance that exchanges responsibility for accountability.
    Jamie2008 likes this.
  13. I enjoy the spirited thoughts that always come from solving a problem or finding a solution to a re-occurring issue.

    100% tie off is a particularly hot topic as the fatality rate creeps up in the tower industry and the discussions are national news.

    I would like to point out that the climber fatality rate -because they are not tied off -is not an easy problem to dissect. It reminds me of a Criminalistics class I took years ago during which I learned the differences between the manner, mechanism and cause of death. Climber fatalities are similar, in that the mechanism of death is the blunt force trauma to organs, the cause of death is the fall or sudden stop, but the manner of death explains the situation or events that took place and led to the death.

    I allude to this gory reference, because we may be attempting to fix a multitude of problems with singular solutions. If you have climbers that forget to hook up one hook before they remove the other hook, or are comfortable and then complacent then the safety lanyard monitoring is the way to go. But what if climbers aren’t tying off for other reasons? What if climbers are given about 30 hours of training in every topic they need to know and sent to sites where their fall arrest hooks don’t fit around the tower members to make an appropriate anchor?

    What if they were never taught or given anchor straps? What if they are taught that because of the lack of anchor straps, the in-feasibility of using them and the collective attitude of the company that they climb 100% up the tower, but when at their workstation 300’ above the ground “we do what we want, they can’t see us?”

    I say, bring it. Develop it. RF interference, we can overcome with technology. The only thing we can't overcome is a single solution to a multi-faceted problem. It is going to take many solutions to identify and fix the many causes, in our industry that result in the death of a climber who is not tied off, and we don’t know why the equipment was not attached to the tower. Just as companies have increased productivity of their workforce with GPS trackers in the work trucks; there are also examples of workers that have to be fired because even knowing this technology was in the truck, it didn’t stop that employee from disobeying the policies or tampering with the unit.

    I encourage these ideas and conversations, and I encourage every person to honestly assess why they free climb. Why their colleagues free climb and why they sometimes don’t hook off or tie off. Once we honestly have that discussion we can invite in methods to adapt behavior, remind workers, back up our existing systems, or simply assist with enforcing disciplinary policy that is not otherwise enforceable.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2014
  14. Not so new guy

    Not so new guy Friend of the Community

    Love your rebuttal, I work for a fairly young company comprised of decades of experience between us. We have a zero tolerance policy for free climbing/ poor safety practices. Despite my comfort on towers my coworker only uses a poor anchor point once. They then sit out for a week and any poor anchorage after that is immediate dismissal, no question asked.

    That being said, there needs to be a voice from climbers or foremen who are concerned with safety and see this technology promoting poor climbing hygiene just to avoid getting in trouble. I really don't know what the answer is but I am happy to see a community so proactive about safety. To me, that's the first step.
    100% Tied Off likes this.
  15. 100% Tied Off

    100% Tied Off Industry Observer

    This safety lanyard system has potential in my mind. This is the first model of its kind. Just like the model “A” Ford Motor company produced. With R&D this system could take us to another level of safety. How many lives will be saved spotting the free climber? And removing them from harming themselves and others if they fall? How many lives will be saved reminding the good climbers they are not 100% tied off? Where could it go from here?

    Could tower manufactures and safety equipment manufactures team together for the next generation of safety systems? Could the system know where you are on the structure and how you have tied off? Could the Google Glass system be tied with it as safety glasses? Relaying information regarding everything on the structure? Informing you, you’re tying off to something improperly? Incorporating a project task manager? Coupled with a Rigging Identification and safety manager.

    Could volumes of data be gathered from the system? Climber health for instance? Heart rate? Dehydration? Calories Burned? Blood pressure? Body Temperature? Exhaustion rates? Current and Future Weather conditions? Rain? Lightning? Snow? Ice? Wind? Day or night? Open microphone tower to ground communications?

    Who knows where it could go? If everything is taken a step farther.
    Productivity and safety can go hand in hand if given parallel considerations. Just Spilling thoughts here again.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2014

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