Rooftop Anchor Points
The first step when designing a fall protection system is deciding where to attach the anchor points. Rooftop anchor points are the secure point of attachment for lifeline, lanyards or deceleration devices designed to withstand the static and dynamic forces during a fall. Roof anchors must be properly planned to ensure complete fall protection coverage over the entire elevated worksite.
There are two types of anchorages, certified and non-certified.
- Certified Anchorages are those designed, installed and used under the supervision of a qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall arrest system, which maintains a safety factor of two.
- Non-certified anchorages are those chosen by a Competent Person in fall protection that will withstand a load of 5,000 lbs per worker attached.
OSHA defines the standard for safe anchorage points for General Industry in §1910.66 (Appendix C) and for Construction in §1926.502 (d)(8) and §1926.502 (d)(15) as follows:
“Anchorages to which personal fall arrest equipment is attached shall be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached (for certified anchorage points), or shall be designed, installed, and used as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two, under the supervision of a qualified person (for non-certified anchorage points).”
Permanent or temporary options are available for fall protection anchorages. Portable Roof Anchors provide a safe anchorage for maintenance workers or contractors that have only an occasional need to access the roof or when penetrating the roof is not an option. Temporary rooftop anchor points are portable and reusable and can be quickly removed for a easy re-installation at a new worksite.
Much care must be taken in selecting a user’s connecting device such as a lanyard, self-retracting lifeline or rope and grab, to ensure that free fall distance, total fall distance and swing falls are kept below the limitations set forth by OSHA.
Selection of the appropriate anchor point for your system is one for the most essential parts of designing your fall protection system, in order to keep your employees safe while working at heights.