01 Aug Benefits and Types of Roof Anchor Points
Your guide to roof anchor points
There is no question that working at height is dangerous. In Australia each year, an average of 26 workers die as a result of falling from height, and nearly 8000 are injured. The requirements on businesses to operate height safety systems that keep employees safe are stringent, and failure to do so can leave a business owner criminally – and personally – liable.
The best way to keep employees safe is to install walkways and barriers that remove the risk of a fall. Where that is not practical, workers need to be tethered to a roof anchor point that will hold the force of their fall. This article explores the different types of roof anchor point on the market today.
When do you need a roof anchor point?
Installing a roof anchor point should not be the first safety solution to be considered. Any fall, even one arrested by ropes or systems, carries risk. And that’s why prevention should always be considered first. Once options for fall prevention have been eliminated, the following should be explored:
A fall arrest system – designed to allow a worker to fall a certain distance before their fall is ‘arrested’ in mid-air.
A rope access system – designed for fall protection where conventional methods won’t work. It allows workers to manoeuvre using ropes while suspended in a harness or work seat.
In each system, a roof anchor point is required.
What is a roof anchor point?
Not all anchor points are the same, and choosing the right one is not a decision to take lightly. In making the selection, you need to consider the forces that the roof anchor points are designed to withstand; what kind of roof anchor points your lanyard can connect to; and what type of work you are preparing to perform.
Ultimately, selecting the best anchor point is about determining which is the most suitable for the work you need to carry out and the amount of weight it can support.
How much weight does a roof anchor point support?
The parameters for a safe roof anchor point are defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA). They specify the weight limits and forces that a point must be able to support, and the extent to which each roof anchor point must be rigid. The details can be found [here]:
How to choose the right roof anchor point?
- There are a few key points to remember when selecting a roof anchor point.
- A steel member is always preferable
Wood must be engineer certified.
- Anchor bolts, through-bolts and plate washers should be inspected by a professional.
- Equipment including eyebolts, turnbuckles, concrete embeds and beam clamps may be used in conjunction with anchor points.
- It should be carefully inspected and evaluated for load-bearing capacity.
- You should also think about whether roof anchor points have energy-absorbing properties if you need something that is flexible enough to be used for domestic, commercial and industrial construction.
It is critical to avoid unsuitable roof anchor points. To put it simply, any item or structure that is not capable of meeting OHSA structural load requirements must be avoided.
Which roof anchor points do we recommend?
At AHSS we exclusively use Sayfa Systems for all our installations. Why? Because all Sayfa anchors are quality tested to ensure they meet all safety standards, and the organisation offers the best technical support. The way their roof anchors are manufactured, tested and numbered also provides full traceability from manufacture through to installation.
Two of the roof anchor points we use frequently are:
Sayfa 3Sixty Top Mount – the 360-degree swivel allows easier access and movement for the person in a harness. It also provides uniform load distribution to the anchor plate, which makes it perfect for lighter structures and roof decks.
Sayfa Low-Pro Steel Purlin Mount – this roof anchor point provides quick and easy retrofit installation to metal purlin structures and is suitable for standard, corrugated and span deck-roof profiles as it can be fixed into the roof structure. It can also be used as a primary abseil anchor point.
At Australian Height Safety Services, we have more than 25 years’ experience in height safety and fall prevention. Our installation technicians are all licensed and highly experienced in the industry, and we guarantee the compliance of our fall prevention systems.
We can help you meet and exceed Australian height safety standards and regulations, and our team has the skill to install the full range of Sayfa roof anchor points to make working at height as safe as possible.