Fall Protection and Suspended Access System Design

Construction Planning

We offer free design service

What to expect from our design service

Our free design service includes a layout, details, and specifications, and meets local, state/provincial, and national codes and standards.

Whether you require a design for window washing equipment, fall protection, or building maintenance we can help you.

To complete a typical design we require the following architectural plans: roof plan, floor plans, elevations, and wall sections. Sending a structural roof plan will help us to design the system to work with your planned structure when possible. We may occasionally require additional drawings when unique conditions are present.

Free Consultation for Fall Protection or Window Washing Safety Systems 

Clients can request a free consultation service for any job Pro-Bel accepts. Individual designers will approve or disapprove pre-design consultation requests based on availability.  

A post-design consultation will be provided to explain the recommended systems and provide advice regarding the building’s fall protection and/or suspended access.  

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    Types of Permanent Window Washing Equipment 

    There are many types of permanent window washing equipment and the types incorporated in a design are chosen based on the building’s needs, size, local jurisdictions, and architectural complexities. 

    Permanent Roof Anchors

    This is the most installed permanent window washing equipment. They’re typically used for low-mid-rise buildings. Roof anchors typically hoist Bosun’s chairs for suspended access. They're placed apart so that façade maintenance workers can loop through their lifeline and suspension lines to access whichever areas of the building's face they need to work. 

    Davit System

    A davit system is a crane-like mechanism that consists of a base and an arm. A window-washing davit system differs from the davits used in construction since it’s specifically meant to hoist people on platforms. The platform typically paired with it is a powered platform with a stabilization system, but it can also be paired with Bosun’s chairs or single cages.  

    These systems are mandatory on buildings over a certain height (typically 90 meters but varies by region) and are typically installed in pairs. 

    Outrigger Beams

    Outrigger beams are typically installed on buildings under 300ft/90m, and they’re suitable for roofs with sufficient inboard distance. Long-span beams are ideal for accessing difficult-to-reach areas such as beyond sloped roofs, terraces, and balconies. They are also placed when a parapet is made of a fragile material such as glass. 

    Rigging Sleeves

    Rigging Sleeves are fully customizable forms of suspended access equipment that are used as the last option when all means of conventional window washing safety systems can’t be installed. They can be built into walls and floorboards or snaked through soffits. 

    Monorail System

    Monorail systems are ideal for the underside of a building such as overhangs, sloped glazing, sky lighting, atrium glass, domes, and any similar applications wherever continuous horizontal movement is required.  

    Types of Fall Protection Systems

    When standing or working at heights, fall protection is important to prevent injury or fatality. It doesn’t take a significant fall to sustain injuries or be killed. That’s why the necessary safety precautions must be deployed. 

    Tie-Back Anchors

    Tie-back anchors are a trusted method of securing fall protection systems that serve the purpose of ensuring worker safety when working near a roof’s edge. These roof anchors are normally placed on the floor, but they also can be attached to the wall or installed under the floorboard. These anchors can be used for both suspended access and fall restraint, so it’s important they’re placed at the optimal position for one or both functions. 

    Horizontal Lifeline

    A horizontal lifeline is used for horizontal, sloped, or vertical mobility over extended distances while working close to a vertical drop within 6'-0" (1.8 m) of roof edge, skylight, or any high, narrow, level roof area or walkway not protected by a 42" (1.067m) high guardrail. Horizontal Lifelines act as an alternative to single anchor points when independent anchors do not provide the required degree of safety. 

    Horizontal Trolley Rail

    Horizontal trolley rails differ from horizontal cable lifeline systems in that trolley rails are considered a somewhat non-restrictive fall protection system. Unlike cable systems, trolley rails are designed and engineered for multi-purpose applications, including: 

    • fall restraint lanyards
    • fall arrest lifelines
    • direct rigging or attachment of primary suspension lines when rigging a bosun's chair with descent control equipment
    • attachment of tie-back lines when using outrigger beams or parapet wall clamps (stage, cage, or bosun's chair).

    Safety Guardrails

    Guardrails are installed where workers are performing tasks within 6ft (1.83m) of the roof edge without a high parapet (minimum 42”) present. Areas of use include, but are not limited to: 

    -Roof edge 

    -Man door openings 

    -Open-sided floors, platforms, and runways 

    -around mechanical equipment 

    -around hazards such as open pits, tanks, vats, ditches, waterside edges and similar applications 

    -Any new construction or retrofit over the minimal jurisdiction-based height requirement to require fall protection without an adequate parapet or fall protection system. 

    Industry Misconceptions

    There are a lot of misconceptions about both fall protection systems design and the design process of window washing equipment. The main misconception that both industries fall victim to is that a design can be created from just the roof plans. The equipment needs to work with the entire building’s architecture, not just the roofs. Pro-Bel gets sent files with solely roof drawings on a weekly basis, which causes us to frequently have to get in touch with the architect for a full set of drawings. 

    Fall Protection Misconceptions

    A common misconception about fall protection is that it’s not necessary on a low-rise building. A lot of smaller buildings will claim that they don’t need fall protection due to their size and claim that there will be no work conducted close to the building’s edge. Even if a building doesn’t have a lot of visible equipment close to the edge, if there are any drains or ventilation within 6ft of the edge, these may need to be inspected at a later date. 

    Window Washing Safety System Misconception

    A common misconception with permanent window washing equipment is that all the equipment is either a “davit” or an “anchor”. When working on high-rises, a lot of clients will only refer to the systems as davits. Most people aren’t that familiar with other forms of equipment or the terminology, which is fair as this is a niche industry. Designers communicate with clients what the difference is during consultations to ensure there’s no miscommunication.  

    Why trust Pro-Bel?

    Pro-Bel has been in business for over 45 years. We have completed more than 20,000 projects and manage over 800 projects annually. We specialized in permanent window washing equipment and fall protection systems. We design, engineer, manufacture, install, inspect, and certify a vast line of window washing and fall protection systems. Some of our products include Roof Anchors/Tie-Back Anchors, Davits, Rigging Sleeves, Horizontal Lifelines, Outrigger Beams, and Guard Rails. To learn more about our products listed above or additional products, you can visit the Systems section of our website and download the brochures.