Fall Protection Using Roof Anchors

In the United States alone, over 100,000 workers are killed or injured in occupational falls, every year. For all employees working at a height of six feet or above, OSHA requires the installation of a fall protection system. The most commonly used piece of protection equipment is the roof anchor, which is available in both permanent and temporary varieties. These anchors serve as the attachment points for safety harnesses and lanyards, and are a major component of any OSHA-regulated fall protection system.

Roof anchors come in either permanent or temporary varieties. Permanent anchors come in P-ring, double D-ring, and claw varieties, each for use in different circumstances. Double D-rings attach to roof joists, while P-ring anchors attach to both joists and to vertical walls. Claw anchors, on the other hand, attach to joists which are not yet covered with solid surfaces. When attached to joists, anchors should be fitted with both screws and washers, to keep the roof from leaking. Also, painting an anchor, after installation, will make it virtually invisible.

OSHA requirements for permanent anchors are easy to follow. Each installed anchor must be able to work with other fall arrest components, and, once the anchor has been installed, it should be visibly labeled. All permanent anchors should be annually inspected for re-certification, and should be switched out, if a worker falls while attached to the anchor.

Temporary anchors are often used for quick jobs. Because they are available in bulk, temporary anchors are more affordable than their permanent counterparts. Temporary anchors are available for all types, and all pitches, of roofs. Also, temporary anchors are designed to be easy to move, and may be re-used, after being re-inspected in accordance with guidelines.

OSHA requirements for temporary anchors are similar. Temporary anchors must be compatible with equipment, and should be installed specifically according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. At the end of a job, temporary anchors should be removed from service, and inspected, before re-use. Like permanent anchors, temporary anchors must be removed from service, if subjected to fall arrest forces.

Anchor points should be at or above shoulder level. This requirement limits free falls to six feet or fewer, and helps to avoid swinging falls, which are particularly dangerous when obstructions are near the area. Also, anchor points should be easy to access, so that workers do not fall while attaching their harnesses to a roof anchor.

OSHA requires that anchors have the ability to hold up to 5,000 pounds of a static load. For their own safety, workers should take care to never overload an anchor, and to never hook more than one harness to any individual anchor. Employers should take the time to research different brands, to choose a reliable variety, and should purchase their anchors from safety equipment retailers.

Safety harnesses and lanyards will not protect workers from injury, if they are not attached to something solid. Roof anchors, which are the most widely used piece of fall protection window washing equipment, are built to withstand significant force, when attached correctly to roof joists. For more complete information, employers may consult their safety equipment dealer, or refer to OSHA regulations.

Need fall arrest anchors, contact your local professional suppliers Whether you have needs on roof anchor or other equipment, be sure to get enough information before you make your decision.

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