Anytime a technician must operate high above the ground, fall protection becomes a paramount concern.
That fall protection covers several aspects: both the safety of the worker, as well as the equipment.
Pure Safety Group (PSG) has been offering products and services designed to ensure both workers and equipment are secure in many industries, particularly wind.
“Wind is one of the core segments of fall protection that we are focused on,” said Judd Perner, director of Marketing and Product Management at PSG. “Our goal is to continue providing innovative solutions that can be used to protect workers at height and equipment in wind-turbine environments. Most technicians and professionals working in the wind industry are at height from time to time, and we take their specific environmental situations very seriously.”
Wide Range of Products
PSG offers a range of products specifically designed for wind, ranging from full-body harnesses, lanyards used for climbing structures, and personal and overhead self-retracting lifelines, according to Perner.
“Those are the primary product categories of this segment,” he said. “We also have a range of rescue and controlled descent devices such as the Checkmate Max 150. If there’s an issue at the top of a wind turbine and they have to get down quickly, they can connect to the descender, and it’ll lower them to the ground safely at a controlled rate.”
PSG began with a group of industry experts, with more than 100 years of collective experience, who analyzed the industry and identified a need for a single organization focused on the vital aspect of working at height, according to Perner.
Three Core Brands
“The first acquisition was Guardian Fall Protection,” he said. “Guardian had been in the industry since the early ’90s and is a well-established brand serving multiple industries. In 2017, PSG also acquired Web Devices, which was a regional fall protection company out of Houston, Texas. By taking those two companies and merging them together, we were able to really develop ourselves as a large provider of fall protection equipment. And that’s what led to our global headquarters in Houston, Texas.”
In 2018, PSG acquired Checkmate and Ty-Flot, according to Perner. Checkmate was a U.K.-based fall protection company specializing in high-performance, innovative, and technology-based safety products. Ty-Flot was a company that focused on foreign material exclusion and dropped-object prevention products that allowed workers at height to tether different types of tools. “The Ty-Flot business originated in the nuclear industry, where it was really important to ensure that tools and equipment — if they were dropped — weren’t going to fall and damage equipment, in addition to the safety hazards associated with dropped objects,” he said.
As PSG, a family of three strong fall protection brands have been established, according to Perner.
“Each brand highlights and fulfills an industry need; Guardian-branded products serve professionals seeking quality products meeting and exceeding compliance standards, while the Checkmate brand is well established with those seeking high-performance products that are able to endure challenging environments such as those in the wind industry and Stronghold by PSG which is a brand that offers a range of products that is able to cross both the high performance and compliance product offerings,” he said. “Stronghold products are important to the wind-energy segment of fall protection because it allows workers to not only protect workers working below them, but also the equipment that they’re working on. Our focus is to utilize the full range of product offerings between the family of brands to create unique solutions for end users in all environments.”
Solving Customer Challenges
With the importance of fall protection, Perner pointed out that PSG takes every challenge a customer brings very seriously. “We welcome challenges, and we see all challenges as an opportunity to help customers solve a problem,” he said. “We have a very talented team of engineers, project managers, and certified installers that makes up Engineering Systems that is able to work with end users on specific work site challenges and design thoughtful solutions.”
Being able to partner with end users provides PSG’s engineers with valuable field feedback that can lend to new product innovations or added features in existing products, according to Perner.
“We believe that the people working at height day in and day out are the individuals who can best explain what obstacles or challenges they face,” he said. “If they can bring that to an equipment manufacturer like Pure Safety Group, we can take that information and work with our engineering teams to develop a solution that they can then use to protect themselves.”
Not only does PSG design and manufacture its fall protection equipment, it makes sure technicians get the proper fall protection training, according to Perner.
“We opened our fall-protection training facility at our Houston headquarters in 2018,” he said. “That training facility has several structures that simulate different conditions, such as confined space. We offer a variety of training courses that incorporate both classroom and hands-on training. Opening the Houston training facility was a significant achievement for PSG. It established us within the Houston community and our investment in training and education. Proper education is equally as important to the products themselves, because if you don’t know how to use the product and don’t know the standards, that can become a critical issue on job sites. We have placed considerable emphasis on creating a robust training curriculum for our trainers to provide not only within our training facilities, but also remotely and online for convenience learning.”
As the wind industry continues to evolve, Perner stressed that PSG’s product management and engineering teams continue to look for new and innovative ways to improve the equipment it offers to wind industry.
“We’re evolving with the industry mainly through material and technological advancement as well as engineered system solutions,” he said. “Our approach to evolving product offerings is to be in the field as much as possible, gather valuable feedback from individuals who use these products daily and engage them in the development of the solution or advancement to make sure it’s feasible.”
The wind industry has some unique challenges: on vs. off shore, confined space, environmental, etc., so Perner said PSG continues to research materials such as high-performance ropes and webbings that are heat-resistant for products such as rescue equipment to ensure a controlled descent. Being able to offer high-performance materials integrated with industry specific designs and training will continue to distinguish PSG and its brands.
“Every industry has its own challenges,” he said. “And if you look at wind, a wind-energy technician might require specialty features on their products, whether it’s a lanyard capable of foot level tie-off or descender for escape situations. The technicians need specific features to make their job safer. We’re going to continue focusing on developing products that are unique to wind, just like we are striving to do for all of the other industries that we serve. Whether it is general industry, construction, wind energy, or utilities, we are always focusing on making sure that if a particular industry has an application or a hazard that is specific, then we will provide a solution for that specific application.”
As wind energy expands more offshore, PSG will expand its innovative solutions specific to this environment, according to Perner.
“Products in this environment are exposed to the harshest of conditions, so we look to incorporate materials such as stainless steel to reduce corrosion from saltwater and humidity,” he said. “Having our own certified testing facility gives us the ability to thoroughly test more of these alternative products with environmental controls to see how they perform to drive designs forward. Looking for high performance materials and design solutions that meet global compliance standards across are the primary goal of the product development team.”
“We believe that by focusing solely on fall protection we can become the experts and strive to continually push the envelope developing products and training,” Perner said.