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Surge Tank

Bay D’espoir, Newfoundland
Project Overview:

Surge Tanks are storage reservoirs fitted between the main reservoir (artificial lake) and the power house of Hydroelectric Power Plants. Surge tanks are usually included when there is a considerable distance between the water source and the power unit, necessitating a long penstock (enclosed pipe that delivers water to hydro turbines)

This Surge Tank has a height of over 360′ and required replacement of its decommissioned ridged rail fall protection system (for a permanent fixed ladder). The challenge was to safely remove and lower the existing steel rail components and raise and install the new system. It was determined during the planning phase that it would be unsafe and difficult to attempt the work solely from the permanent fixed ladder. Also, the use of a crane or lift would have been impractical due to the remote location and cost.

To accomplish the project safely and in a timely fashion, the replacement of the fall arrest rails was conducted using rope access techniques by IRATA train technicians. All of the lifting and lowering was performed from the ground utilizing pulley systems and a portable gas winch.

The new system allows workers to safely climb (and rest on, when required) the ladder for periodic maintenance and inspections. Attached at their chest is the Comfort ‘GlideLoc’ Fall Arrester which slides freely offering hands-free safety at height that ultimately increases worker mobility, safety and productivity. The sliders lock to the rail instantly in the event that the worker slips or falls away from the ladder. To see the product in use, please click the YouTube link to the right.

Project Type:

Ladder Fall Protection


Continuous hands free fall protection for climbing fixed ladders


Vertical Ridged Rails & Hands Free (Locking) Sliders

Watch our
360’ foot climb!