Free falling protection

AN innovative system provides unparalleled levels of freedom and safety for its users. Jamie Wade writes

AN innovative system provides unparalleled levels of freedom and safety for its users. Jamie Wade writes

Perth-based inventor Leigh Dowie has developed a fall protection system that moves with the user in all directions.

The T-Line Safety System is a device that facilitates both horizontal and vertical movement offering freedom for the user.

Just as suited to situations that require only horizontal or vertical movement, says Dowie, the system is perfect for users with varied and often changing fall protection needs.

Similarly, this device is readily adaptable to highly specific fall protection needs.

Operating the T-Line Safety System is comparable to a typical retractable lanyard (SRL) where the user simply connects themself to the system, the device then automatically feeds out or retracts the safety line depending on the direction of the user’s movement.

“The T-Line Safety System does not restrict the user to a narrow width of work space like the retractable lanyards,” Dowie told Australian Mining.

“It can also be used to rescue a user once they have fallen, drastically reducing the time taken to rescue the person and the likelihood of serious injury from suspension trauma.”

Late last year Dowie was awarded a Certificate of Merit at the Inventor of the Year Awards for 2007 for the T-Line Safety System, which was recognised as providing considerable technical merit and a much-needed solution to falls from heights.

“The T-Line also reduces the forces that are induced in the supporting structure in the event of a fall which makes the system much more applicable in a wider range of applications,” Dowie said.

“It also reduces the fall arrest distances over large horizontal spans. This can be quite important where you’re working in a complex environment with some dangerous obstructions or below or even the ground in close proximity.”

Dowie said he first came up with the idea when working on an LNG train project in the north-west of Western Australia.

“I had some first hand experience of working from height in heavy construction sites, so the system was heavily designed around applications in those environments.”

Not resting on his laurels Dowie through his company Meridian Safety is expanding safety solutions including a fall protection device for heavy transport equipment.

“It’s predominantly based around flatbed trucks and train carriages because they’re notoriously dangerous to a person climbing on board and securing or inspecting loads,” Dowie said.

The device, says Dowie, was developed following a number of deaths in Australia and the US.

“We’re just currently looking for a partner to help undertake the initial prototype development and testing and take it from there,” he said.

“Already there’s been a significant amount of interest generated here and in the United States, so it’s all looking quite good.”

To listen to a podcast of the interview with Leigh Dowie visit the Unearthed Report on Australian Mining at http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/unearthed/default.htm.

Leigh Dowie

Director

Meridian Safety Pty Ltd

leigh.dowie@meridiansafety.com

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