Safety is Citogo’s one of the top priorities. They had a problem with fall protection because the conventional ‘ladder climbing’ strategy to get on top of rail cars is a dangerous operation and could be a cause of any major mishap. SafeRack analyzed the site and Citgo’s needs and designed a customized gangway for them. The gangway is wide and could be operated easily which not only made the operation safe but also increased efficiency and employee satisfaction.
Right now we’re in Doraville and we are now pulling up to the Citgo site right now, right in the background.
Just coming to work the gangways back and forth. We just got done with the installation, so we want to make sure everything is working right, everything’s sprung correctly, everything’s just dandy.
This area right here was basically inactive for the past ten years. The ethanol mandate came in as a federal mandate recently and we reactivated our rail line and started bringing it in by rail car. We had a problem with fall protection. Our employees had to first of all hook a hose up to the bottom of the rail car, then climb this ladder up to the top an open a vent. This is an inherently dangerous operation. The rails can be slick with ice or water if it’s raining and we wanted to get away from this as quickly as we could.
We’re a relatively small company. We’ve got about 3,500 employees. Our engineering staff is a small staff therefore what we need is a turnkey approach and SafeRack supplied the engineering expertise. They built all the equipment, they installed all the equipment.
We came and made many site visits and a few obstacles to work around and put a system in here that he chose to get on top of all three of those rail cars.
Of course you look at this situation and see what the customer’s going to need. Well on this particular scenario, their crash boxes, the railing on the rail cars were offset. There was no front and back to a rail car, so when you take that into consideration, we chose a wider gangway for them. So your standard 20 points wide, we had a big four foot wide gangway.
Also the rail car lengths are different so we put this gangway on a track, so you can track it to wherever the rail car is. Stop it right at that point, now you can lower it down.
The operation of it is really simple with a foot pedal here to release the mechanism; a gentle push down gravity will carry it down, center it over the top of the dome, now we can open the gate and walk out onto it.
And of course it has extension pieces on the gangway as well so you close the gap because the crash boxes are probably six feet to 8 feet. They’re all different sizes so you have to take that into consideration as well.
We looked at a number of vendors that provide this type of installation. The first requirement was the safety of my people. Secondarily, a quality installation that my team can work with, good equipment, it’s not going to require a lot of maintenance and it’s not going to break. Third thing that I look for is a company that I can deal with. Somebody that gives good customer service. The installation here provided that for me.