Roof Davits and
Tie Back Anchors

Roof davits and tie-back anchors are used during exterior building maintenance to the exterior façade of a structure, such as window washing, caulking and painting. These anchors are capable of withstanding an ultimate load of 5,000 lbs in any direction per Cal/OSHA Title 8, 3291 to allow for the suspension of scaffolds or Bosun chairs.

Our roof davits are trusted by building owners throughout California. We guide you through every step of the process from initial consultation to engineering and installation, all while ensuring you have the proper test documentation per Cal/OSHA Title 8 requirements.

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When are roof davits required?

Buildings 36’ tall or 3 stories are required to have roof davits (tie-backs) unless you can achieve window washing and unscheduled maintenance from ground-based equipment. At 48’ or 4 stories, you must provide them regardless of ground-based equipment capability.

At minimum, they must be installed at intervals of 12’ on center around the building for unscheduled maintenance, and if used for window washing, must be specifically designed to accommodate the particular window washing activities.

Do we need an OPOS (operation procedure outline sheet)?
Not for unscheduled maintenance. For window washing activities, it depends on a few factors that would cause the building to require one: (1) the building does not have established window cleaning systems or procedures meeting the requirements specified in Articles 5 and 6; (2) the building has extreme architectural features which require the use of complex rigging or equipment; (3) or a building that uses rigging or equipment not covered by these orders. The quick answer is that an OPOS is needed when the building requires special types of cleaning procedures such as a Bosun chair.
How often do roof davits (tie-back anchors) need to be inspected and re-certified?

Each roof davit installation shall undergo a periodic inspection and test at least every 12 months by the equipment manufacturer, authorized representative, or other qualified person acceptable to the Division. All parts of the equipment, including related building support structures, shall be inspected, and where necessary, tested to determine to be in safe operating condition.

Are roof davits the same as fall protection anchors?

No. Roof davits are designed to have the capability of suspending scaffolding or personnel from the anchor to safely work on the face of a building. Rooftop fall protection anchors are designed to protect a worker from falling off the building.

Fall protection anchors are typically much smaller and have far less strength requirement. Roof davits must be capable of 5,000lbs in any direction while fall protection anchors must have an ultimate strength of 5,000lbs or meet a safety factor of two as a complete fall protection system.

Are roof anchors the same as roof davits?

Yes. Roof davits are sometimes also referred to as roof anchors, tie-back anchors, tiedowns, tie-offs, anchor rings, roof posts, 5,000lb anchors, and scaffold anchors.

Roof Davits and/or Tieback Anchors

When your commercial building requires cleaning, repairs, or maintenance, it’s your responsibility to ensure the workers stay safe. Roof davits, and/or tie-back anchors, are an important safety feature for construction or maintenance workers working on the exterior of any tall building.

Roof davits / tie-back anchors are used during maintenance to the external face of a building, such as window washing and painting. These anchors are capable of withstanding an ultimate load of 5,000 lbs in any direction per Cal/OSHA Title 8, 3291 to allow for the suspension of scaffolds or Bosun chairs.

Safety is the number one priority for workers performing above-ground operations. When workers step onto a suspended platform, it’s vital that safety systems work properly. Roof davits aren’t simply a good idea for these workers, they’re required by Cal/OSHA.

At Versatile Systems, safety is our business. Our roof davits are trusted by building owners throughout California. We don’t simply supply you with the products you need to keep your contractors safe, we guide you through every step of the process. We work right alongside you from the initial consultation through engineering and installation, all while ensuring you have the proper test documentation for Cal/OSHA. We’re also available to take care of your OSHA-mandated fall protection inspection.

Most people don’t know much about roof davits, and that’s okay. Our experts know all the important details so the local employees who spend their days toiling above ground can get the job done right and get safely back on solid ground. Here are the essentials, in case you’d like to learn more.

Components of Roof Davit Systems

While there are several types of roof davits, they work much the same way and are created with the same basic components. There are four components that make up a roof davit system.

Davit Base

The base attaches permanently to the building’s roof as the main support for the arm and also the platform used by workers. Roof-rigged bases are larger, so they will have the strength to support the extending structure. Ground-rigged davits are designed differently with a smaller base, but they’re not suitable for all jobs.

Davit Arm

Davit arms are brackets that attach directly to the main platform. They mount in the connector socket when the platform is ready to be attached for a job. Davit arms are reinforced for additional strength and to withstand uneven weight distribution.
Unlike bases and sockets, davit arms don’t stay fixed to the building. They are mobile to allow flexible use in multiple places. This flexibility allows companies to save considerably since they don’t have to purchase arms for each base.

Adopter Sockets

The adopter socket is a connector made of galvanized steel. It’s designed to connect the base of the roof davit to the arm. Adopter sockets are generally permanent fixture that can either be exposed on the roof or embedded to be less noticeable. The adopter sockets you use will likely be decided by your building’s aesthetic and the type of roof davits you require.
There are three types of adopter sockets: embedded, flush mounted, and mobile.

Transport Handle and Wheel Assembly

Since davit arms aren’t permanently attached, they need a simple mode of transport. That’s where the transport handle and roller wheel assembly comes in. The transport handle and roller wheel assembly is the transportation kit used to carry davit arms to different installation sites as needed.

Most Common Roof Davits

Fall protection isn’t a one-size-fits-all product. Therefore, there are several types of roof davits available to fit the requirements and restrictions of the job at hand. The most commonly used types of roof davits are below.

Material Lifting

Every job requires tools and supplies which are often heavy and bulky. Material lifting davits are designed to carry supplies needed to complete a job up or down the building facade.

Personnel Lifting

Designed to carry people who are making repairs or maintaining the outside of a building. They may be used for transport to and from the roof or work on the side of the building, like window replacement.


The use of a motor allows these davits to offer greater control for the transport of heavy, bulky items. They’re often used during construction or major repairs to carry things like HVAC systems and equipment for maintenance.


While hand powered davits offer less control, they have their own advantages. They are easy to assemble and take apart, making them perfect for quick and/or light lifting jobs.


Designed to provide lifting capability for jobs that don’t require work above the third floor, ground-rigged davits ascend from the ground rather than descend from the roof. They require less space than davits that are rigged from the roof.


These davits require more roof space and have longer and taller arms than ground davits. This allows them to handle sizable platforms and work well with a variety of building types.

Fall Protection You Can Count On

We handle every detail of fall protection from start to finish including engineering, design, fabrication, installation, and training. Safety is not an area where you can assume things are done right. Our expert team members are certified installers of 3M Fall Protection, XS Platforms Lifeline Systems, and multiple other recognized brands. We’re trained by the manufacturers of these products, so you know your system will be properly installed.
Without the right fall protection equipment, lives are at stake. We understand that workers are often under tight schedules. That’s why we’re prepared to mobilize immediately to provide your workers with safe working space within your deadlines, working to your schedule to provide Cal/OSHA-compliant fall protection.
Contact us today if you’re in need of a davit system, roof guardrails, skylight protection, rigid rail overhead fall protection system, or other fall safety equipment. We’re the fall protection pros with the expert customer service you can count on.

Window Washing Davits

Acting as support systems that suspend workers on the outside of a building via a hanging platform, window washing davits are one of the easiest methods for window cleaning.

No matter if you’re painting, doing maintenance, giving it a full window cleaning, or just running some check-up maintenance, roof davit systems will be your go-to tool.

Considering the potential danger of hanging off the side of a building, window washing davits must uphold a whole host of OSHA guidelines. This makes them an accessible, stable, and safe way of allowing workers to reach the outside of your buildings.

Let’s take a look at these fantastic fall protection tools in more detail.

What Exactly Are Window Washing Davits?

Davits are either temporary or permanent fixtures that allow maintenance and window washers to maneuver on the outside of large buildings. They act as points of support, holding a platform still. Most commonly, two davits are used to hold up one platform, attaching to either end and providing stability.

While davits come in many forms, particularly ground rigged and roof rigged, the majority of window washing davits will be roof rigged. This allows washers to begin at the highest floor and continuously work their way down.

When moving down a building, the davit system will hold the weight of the platform held by horizontal lifelines, allowing workers to quickly and safely transverse the exterior of the building.

What Are the Benefits of Davits?

Considering that the davit system consists of two parts, the base and the arms, they are very easy to construct.

Once the base is installed on the building, you’ll be able to attach and detach the arms. Not only does this mean the davits systems are easy to move, but they also won’t take away from the natural beauty of a building. Much more secure than a roof anchor or tieback anchor, a davit system is a permanent structure that is securely mounted on top of a building to hold a suspended scaffold.

But that’s not everything; window washing davits also have the following benefits:

Can be permanently set up for easy routine cleaning

Allow workers to access the outside of a building or facade access

Provide a safe way of maneuvering the outside of buildings

OSHA regulations make them incredibly stable and secure

Let’s take a further look at the OSHA window washing davits regulations.

What OSHA Regulations Apply to Window Washing Davits?

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a detailed list of criteria that window washing davits must uphold. From the ability to support a minimum load of 5,000 lbs to the development of rescue plans if something should go wrong, OSHA ensures that davits systems are as safe as can be.

What’s more, OSHA writes clauses into their regulations that specify that davits must undergo rigorous testing and inspections, further putting your mind at ease.

At Diversified Fall Protection, all of our window washing davit systems and facade access equipment uphold all OSHA and ANSI regulations, ensuring the total safety of your workers. Our series of PEAK anchors are adaptable, allowing you to find the correct fall protection system for your building.

If you need an all-in-one fall protection solution, we’ll be able to give you a quote. Simply reach out and get the very best help – today!