Upgrading Fall Protection Gear for Maximum Functionality

Duckbill LLC is a premium manufacturer of stable, comfortable and high performance ergonomic body-borne carrying gear for all skilled trades.

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By Paul Meunier

Duckbill LLC is a premium manufacturer of stable, comfortable and high performance ergonomic body-borne carrying gear for all skilled trades. For all those who make a living with the tools they carry, Duckbill designs and engineers modular ergonomic carrying solutions hand tools, instruments and devices of all sizes, shapes and descriptions.

Carrying the right tools in an accessible and comfortable way, keeping tools in the position assigned to them by the wearer, and easily changing out the tool array when the task mix changes is a productivity decision. Using the proper fall protection gear is often a separate safety decision. This productivity/safety dichotomy often generates unnecessary job site friction and inter-department tension. It's also been known to reduce enterprise productivity and to erode PPE compliance. These are unnecessary and false trade-offs.

Duckbill believes that productivity and safety initiatives are coequal parts of the same strategy. And that the tasks and actions coming out of them are not mutually inclusive.

Duckbill's MobiltyMax product line successfully tackles the productivity and safety issues that compete for attention and dominance on every job site, plant floor and construction project. That's because there are features and benefits that meet the productivity aims and comfort expectations of users and managers alike.

The ease-of-use, personal choice options and real-time functionality that the Max-Con docking technology provides is built into every MobilityMax module and allows each user to safely customize his/her gear, once, or repeatedly. And unlike other modular solutions, Duckbill technology is not harness-based—it's module-driven. This design advantage allows for any task/ any tool mix anywhere anytime any priority positioning of the modules.

The Duckbill MobilityMax product is a system-based approach to upgrading new, or existing, fall protection harnesses. The system's independently suspended platform or chassis, is integrated seamlessly onto but does not impinge, abrade or interfere with the materials, design or functionality of the safety features on the harness.

Duckbill's MobilityMax product line transforms most fall protection harnesses equipped with removable shoulder pads into comfortable, safe, flexible and multi-purpose personal productivity platforms. MobilityMax is a new breed of highly functional and ergonomic combi-gear that tradesmen will choose to wear not only at height but throughout the day. This is a real-world characteristic that can only improve safety, compliance and workplace morale.

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To add to the functionality of the MobilityMax product, the tool belt can quickly and routinely be removed from the fall protection harness like any other belt. And when preferred, worn separately as a conventional tool belt (sans harness) with all of the hand tool, instrument and device modules in exactly the same position (or reassigned to a new position). One of the key things that makes a MobiityMax fall protection upgrade so valuable is the personally-tuned functionality that allows each wearer to select, position, re-position, exchange or rearrange any combination of more than 100 versatile and customer-tested hand tool, instrument and device modules. One approach. Many options. Wearers, foremen, trainers, managers and administrators at all levels in the enterprise get a chance to win.

This significant advance in personal and enterprise productivity is only possible because the MobilityMax modules are equipped with the company's proprietary Max-Con docking technology. This double clamshell docking technology establishes a complete circumferential three-way cross-linkage between (a) the tool belt, (b) the accessory modules and (c) the anchor belt around 100 percent of the users' waist.

When one mating half of Max-Con docking clamshell built into each module links with the other mating half on the reverse face of the utility belt the cross-linked components are transformed into a single, stable, uninterrupted, comfortable and fully functional tool platform. And because the modules never migrate out of position, muscle memory training, company custom and culture, and productivity are all enhanced.

The MobilityMax enhanced tool-carrying comfort and flexibility improves the users' muscular-skeletal health, inhibits tool belt-inflicted back pain, and mitigates the nuisance pain caused by the harness rubbing against or pressing the tool belt against the body. It's also been shown to reduce the chronic fatigue caused by the dynamic (kinetic) energy released when gear weight is bounced, is improperly allocated or when it shifts out of its assigned position.

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Further, because the hand tool, bolt bags, instrument and communications carrying modules cannot be moved unintentionally or accidentally they remain docked right where the user wants and needs them to be.

Safety protocols and compliance are far more certain and productivity gains are far more predictable when the crafts and trades doing the work on site, and the decision-makers elsewhere in the enterprise all benefit from a single solution.

We don't make fall protection harnesses. But we do make them far more functional and empower the people who wear them to be more productive. Other companies make the tools, Duckbill makes using and carrying them easier.

About the Author:
Paul Meunier is manager of R and D and Product Development at Duckbill where he oversees all industrial design and testing of personal ergonomic, body-borne carrying gear platforms and modules.

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