Fall arrest anchors are an essential part of safety gear whenever people must work six feet or more above the ground or the bottom of an excavation. Laws mandate the use of roof anchors on commercial buildings and construction sites, and a secure lifeline makes sense for homeowners, as well.
If you do take a tumble while on high, having your rapid descent stopped by a lifeline secured to a fall arrest anchor is obviously preferable to hitting the ground, even if you weren’t about to break your neck. Millions of injuries a year, and even some deaths, could be prevented by taking the simple precautions of roof anchors, lines, and safety harnesses. Many people refuse to take the time to be safe or simply do not realize the risk involved.
The sad fact is that many people do not take the time for even the elementary precaution of a roof anchor when a storm loosens shingles on their rooftop or a simple maintenance task is needed on a tall building. Even if you are as sure-footed as a mountain goat, a loose shingle can slide beneath your foot or a strong gust of wind can unbalance you at a critical moment. Ignoring your responsibilities to either family members or your employer may cost others as much as taking a shortcut can cost you.
Architects of high-rise commercial buildings now routinely include roof anchors as part of the structural design of their projects. Workers who provide regular maintenance or emergency repairs can quickly and easily clip their lines onto set points, helping to ensure that this important step is not omitted. Window washing equipment is designed to attach to secure points along the walls.
Residential roof anchors can be matched to the pitch of the roof. Abrasion-resistant lines, such as grab ropes and lifelines, and safety harnesses are available at hardware and home supply stores. The devices usually attach to underlying roof supports, with a shingle being removed or lifted to expose the rafter below. Nails are used to secure the anchor to the rafter and are easy to pry out afterwards.
Although a steel eye bolt properly attached can be an anchoring point, it is perhaps wise to get one that is manufactured for the purpose, as well as load tested and inspected to ensure that it will hold under the weight it will have to control in the case of a fall. A falling person with tools and perhaps materials in hand will be quite a load. A customer service representative or clerk at the home supply store can help you find the right device for your purpose.
It is important to make sure that all gear is well-fitting, designed for the purpose, and in good condition. Non-slip shoes are important, as well as ones that fit securely so they themselves are not a trip hazard. In other words, don’t use your husband’s overlarge safety harness and try to work in flip flops. Common sense will dictate that safety gear works best when proper attention is paid to the demands of the job.
To comply with federal and state laws, it is important for all business owners to carefully learn and follow all regulation concerning Fall Arrest Anchor and other safety gear. Homeowners owe it to themselves and their families to understand the benefits of being safe while working on heights.
Contractors seeking to address their Fall Arrest Anchors options would be hard-pressed to find a better one-stop solution for all of their design, engineering, installation and inspection needs.