With the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, the Canadian oil sands play a crucial role in the economy. If estimates are accurate, oil sands production will rise by 15% during the remainder of the decade.

Yet, the oil sands industry is one of the most demanding and hazardous sectors, with workers frequently exposed to significant fall risks. These may include elevated platforms, derricks, rooftops, open pits, and tailings ponds. The terrain can be treacherous, and working conditions are often cold, wet, slippery, or windy.

To counteract the risks and comply with regulations, employees must implement compliant fall protection solutions such as barriers, using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and providing practical training.

Room for Rooftop Safety

Buildings at oil sand mines, such as upgrader plants, towers, and offices, often have heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and other services equipment on the rooftop. These systems need frequent inspections and maintenance, exposing workers to various hazards. The Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety requires fall protection when the work-at-height distance is at least 3 metres (approx. 10 feet) above the lower level.

An unprotected roof edge is an obvious hazard. For workers within 2 metres (approx. 6 feet) from the edge, a perimeter guardrail system is the preferred fall protection method for flat and low-sloped roofs. It will protect multiple workers without special equipment or training.

Roofs can also be cluttered with ductwork, piping, cables, conduits, and other obstacles that present trip hazards. Anti-slip, self-draining roof walkways and crossover platforms enable workers to traverse the rooftop safely.

kee guard data centre
kee platform 1

Stand Up for Platforms

For pump houses, large equipment, and other elevated areas, a modular work access platform is safer and more productive than a ladder. It combines sturdy frames and anti-slip, self-draining treads for roof walkways and crossovers with guardrails. Static work platforms are designed for permanent installation. Mobile work platforms are fitted with heavy-duty locking casters for station-to-station portability.

On Guard for Railings

Docks at tailings ponds, stairs, mezzanines, open pits, and other areas where a fall can result in a severe injury or fatal accident can be protected by a modular handrail system. Constructed of aluminum or galvanized steel for strength, durability, and corrosion resistance, pipe-fitted railings are installed without welding or drilling.

Extended Options for Lifelines

For reaching confined spaces, working on sloped roofs, scaling towers, and other areas not conducive to guardrails, a lifeline and anchorage system offers compliant fall protection.

  • Cable-based vertical lifelines are a practical—and cost-effective—fall arrest system for fixed ladders. The assembly includes a ladder davit with a self-retracting lifeline, track system, and anchorage.
  • Rooftop horizontal lifelines feature galvanized and stainless steel components and will protect up to three workers across nearly 12 metres (39 feet).
  • Overhead horizontal lifelines are ideal for areas with ample clearance and a firm anchorage. They provide continuous protection in runs of 60 metres (200 feet).
  • Pipe rack horizontal lifelines provide continuous protection across the entire length of the pipe rack, protecting workers along slippery, uneven surfaces.

Anchors for Lifelines

Different types of anchors are available to use with appropriate lifeline systems:

  • Single-point anchors are installed overhead on a roof or inside a structure. They are used for work and rescue operations.
  • Tieback anchors are installed permanently into the building’s structure. They have various mounting options for different types of buildings and roofs. Attachment posts can be U-bar, forged D-ring, swivel D-ring, or horizontal lifeline components.
  • Freestanding mobile anchors with counterweight bases can be placed and repositioned as needed and do not penetrate the roof membrane.
kee anchor + kee line

Midwest and Western Provincial Regulations