Selecting the Right Roof Anchor Point

Fall protection systems should be a priority for every construction company. The number of falls and fall related-injuries on sites should be an indicator that fall protection systems are crucial for the safety of workers.

The good thing about the advances in technology is many innovations in fall protection systems. There is a solution for every height and every type of structure you’re working on. One such solution includes roof anchor points.

Roof anchor points are the main part of fall protection systems, typically installed on a roof where they can be connected to lanyards and lifelines and a worker wearing a body harness. The anchor point attachments come in various forms, from D rings to personal fall arrest systems.

Other types of anchor points include anchor straps, tie-back lanyards, beam clamps & trolleys, and doors bars.

How to select the right roof anchor point will largely depend on the project you’re doing and other factors. Let’s see what you need to know before selecting a roof anchor.

1.      Type of roof

Knowing the type of roof you’ll be working on is important and it can help you make the right choice when it comes to anchor points. You can be working on commercial or residential roofs. Commercial ones are more complicated since they require regular maintenance. When choosing anchor points for commercial roofs always go with permanent ones because they are ideal for this setting.

Residential roofs, on the other hand, rarely require work on them for an extended period and that’s why you can use mobile or temporary structures on them. They are significantly cheaper and don’t require frequent maintenance.

Another thing to consider when choosing anchor points is the type of material the roof is made of. Is the roof made of wood, concrete, or steel? Choosing the right anchor points is crucial because if you choose the wrong ones you risk unnecessarily damaging the roof.

2.      Weight capacity of anchor point

Another tip when choosing the right anchor point is to know exactly how many people will be working on the roof. This is an important thing to know since you’ll need to choose an anchor point that can withstand that weight.

Usually, the recommended weight capacity is clearly stated by the manufacturer of anchor points. So, always stick to those recommendations.

Another thing that you’ll need to know for sure is the amount of weight that the structure you’re working on can withstand. You’ll need to consult an engineer, who will tell you whether or not you can put that certain anchor point and workers on the roof.

3.      Movement

You’ll also need to factor in how much movement will be happening on the roof. A lot of movement means more anchor points to be sure that your workers are safe. And obviously, more anchor points mean more money.

A better solution for this would be choosing anchor points such as horizontal lifelines that allow workers to move freely. Horizontal lifelines are systems engineered to allow easy movement on the roof.

4.      Intended task

Always consider the work you’re planning to do. How long will it take? If it’s a long-term project choose permanent anchor points such as a horizontal lifeline.

In case your project is short-term, temporary or mobile anchor points that are easy to remove are ideal.

5.      Installation and training

When choosing the right type of anchor points, you’ll need the consider the complexity of their design as well. Some anchor points are more complex in design than others, which means that their installation will take some knowledge.

In addition to knowing how to properly install the anchor points, you’ll also need to train your workers on how to safely use them. Not just complex ones, every worker who works at height needs to know how to properly and safely use both simple and complex anchors alike.

If the anchor point is difficult to install and your workers require training to be able to use it then you should use those fall protection systems only for long-term projects and permanent installations.

As you can see, choosing the right kind of anchor point isn’t all that simple. You’ll need to know many things in advance to be able to choose the right fall protection system for your project. Another thing that you should always remember is the project deadlines. Knowing the deadlines will also help you choose the right kind of anchor point.