Fall Protection for Bus Maintenance Technicians

Recently we had a potential client tell us that he has his bus maintenance technicians wear non-slip shoes as their fall protection when working on top of buses. The bad news for him and his poor employees is that 1) that’s not a safe form of fall protection and 2) it’s not legal! If you haven’t been in a bus maintenance facility they are typically oily, greasy and slippery. That goes for the bus roofs too. A slip or miss step off of a bus is most likely going to cause a serious injury or death.

Maintenance workers are exposed to an 8 to 10 foot fall hazard each time they need to access equipment on the roof of a bus. According to California Code of Regulations §3210. Guardrails at Elevated Locations (b) Other Elevated Locations. The unprotected sides of elevated work locations that are not buildings or building structures where an employee is exposed to a fall of 4 feet or more shall be provided with guardrails. (c) Where the guardrail requirements of subsections (a) and (b) are impracticable due to machinery requirements or work processes, an alternate means of protecting employees from falling, such as personal fall protection systems, shall be used.

Fatal falls, slips or trips took the lives of 668 workers in 2012 with 1 in 4 deaths occurring after a fall of 10 feet or less. If worker aren’t protected against the fall hazard there is potential for liability and litigation if there is an accident or worse, a fatality.

The first step towards reducing the fall hazard is by installing a fall protection system overhead to stop a worker from falling and hitting the ground. Over the years we have worked with many proactive municipal transit maintenance facilities to provide a user friendly solution that doesn’t negatively impact work flow.

The typical solution, as shown in the picture, is a rigid fall arrest system with a self-retracting lifeline. This includes a steel track with a trolley mounted overhead down the center or spine of the bus. This gives a maintenance worker access to maintain equipment on the roof of the bus without the risk of falling off the side and being injured or worse killed from the fall.

The most valuable asset a company has is it’s employees. Without them that bus does not go out in the morning. Preventative measures are always taken to make sure that bus keeps running. Make that same commitment to your employees so that they will keep running home safe each night to their families.

If you have maintenance workers accessing vehicles over 4 feet in height they must be protected by a railing or overhead fall protection system.

Use the form on our contact page or call us to schedule a free site visit to assess your facility to find a solution to your specific need (855) 837-3255.