22 Nov How Many Roof Anchor Points Do I Need
As a worker in the industry, you’ll understand that there’s many crucial tricks to the trade, including safety precautions. If you or your employees are working from heights, it’s important to keep your team safe with the use of roof anchor points. There’s a lot to consider when installing these, so how exactly do they work and how many should you be using?
Learn more about choosing the right amount of anchor points for your site and reach out to us at Australian Height Safety Services for a comprehensive roof safety assessment.
Why Use Roof Anchor Points?
Before deciding how many anchor points you should be using, it’s important to understand why exactly you need them. There are significant risks involved with working at heights, including potential fall injuries and even fatalities. Workplaces should minimise these risks with the use of anchor points, paired with other PPE such as harnesses and lanyard fall protection systems. An effectively used anchor point will keep you and your team safe from fall hazards.
Identifying Potential Hazards
Without necessary knowledge and precaution of roof anchor points, various factors can pave way for potential hazards. For instance, some common roof safety hazards include:
- Skylights and windows
- Unprotected ladder access points
- Holes in the roof or instability
- Loading dock or vehicles impacting fall clearance
- Chemical, electrical or radiation hazards from piping and equipment
- Unsuitable PPE for the work project at hand
It’s crucial that you’re identifying and taking into account any potential obstacles your team may run into whilst working on site. Consider these when determining appropriate use of roof anchor points. At Australian Height Safety Services, we’re experts in roof safety systems, and can create a comprehensive safety plan to address your site’s potential hazards.
Safety Solutions: Anchor Points
There are many safety solutions for roof-related jobs, so why should you use anchor points? Fall safety and protection systems are important for all jobs that occur off the ground, but it’s also essential to minimise any potential harm that is at risk. There are three main reasons anchor points are a crucial part of the safety solutions in roofing jobs.
1. Reducing the risk of serious falls
With any activity that takes place off the ground, there is a risk of injury. When you use anchor points for roof services, you reduce the risk of serious injuries or even the likelihood of fatal incidents. Anchor points are considered an active fall protection measure that provides safety with either roof anchor points alone or with a horizontal lifeline.
2. Reducing the risk of hazards
It’s impossible to remove all hazards from the workplace, especially with height added to the situation. Instead, we can focus on reducing the risk of threats that could result in injuries. A roof anchor system works to reduce the risk of injury or fatal falls and provide the safest roof service possible.
3. Creating a barrier
If there is no way to entirely remove hazards or risk of injury, the next best thing is to create a barrier between the worker and the risk. This is usually achieved when a guard rail, anchor system, lifeline and other fall protection systems are used in conjunction, so the worker doesn’t need to actively engage with the anchor points to complete their job safely.
What Factors Determine The Number Of Anchor Points?
As stated earlier, there is no one answer that can be applied to every job. Instead, we look at five main influences that determine the size of your anchor point system.
- What type of access is there to the roof?
- How many people are on the roof?
- What are the job requirements?
- How long will workers need to be on the roof?
- What is the elevation/roof plan?
These five aspects determine the number of anchor points a roofing service will need. The design of this system will consider how workers will get up and down, how many people need to be on the roof at any point, what tools they will need, how long they need to be on the roof and what hazards may be on the roof for workers to avoid.
Unknown roof hazards create a risk of injury to workers, which is why the roof plans are essential to know before servicing. These hazards could include skylights, hazardous access points, chemical or electrical hazards and surrounding aspects that may limit fall clearances (trees, vehicles etc.).
How Many Anchor Points Should I use?
Unfortunately, this isn’t a one-size-fits all situation which means you’ll have to tailor the number and type of anchor points used to your specific site. There are a lot of factors to consider when determining this, including:
- How many people are working on the site
- What type of work is being undertaken?
- Where is the walking and working space?
- What is the timeline for the work project?
- The roof plan and elevation drawing available
Conduct a thorough safety assessment of all height safety hazards and fall prevention strategies, including these points. These factors will influence the anchor point system you’ll use and ultimately the type and number of roof anchor points you’ll require.
Anchor Point Systems
The amount of anchor points you’ll need will also be affected by the type of anchor point and system you are using. There are two primary systems which anchor points will utilise:
- Fall arrest system: for when a worker free-falls through space. This will prevent impact at a lower level by ‘arresting’ them mid-air.
- Rope access system: for fall protection where conventional methods aren’t applicable. Allows workers to navigate ropes upwards or downwards in the safety of a harness or work seat.
Types of Roof Anchor Points
Depending on the type of work you are doing, you’ll need to utilise different roof anchor points. These should include:
Low Pro Roof Anchor Points: Features safe access to roof edges and fall risk areas. Useful for safe maintenance of gutters and roof mounted equipment as well as rope access for windows when used in pairs.
Xplora Roof Anchor Points: Enables safe access to roof plant and equipment, as well as gutter maintenance and rope access. Available as concrete or surface mounted roof anchors.
3Sixty Roof Anchor Points: Uses an energy absorbing swivel eye for supporting uniform load distribution and preventing snap hook roll-out. Enables easy mobility and safe access for guttering, edge flashing and roof plant and equipment.
Roof Anchor Points Melbourne
If you’re unsure on how many roof anchor points will be best for your site, it’s best to reach out to a specialist in construction safety to make sure your team are protected. Our team at Australian Height Safety Services are expertly trained in roof anchor points, with locations in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for best supporting your workplace safety measures. Get in touch with us for specialised advice on your height safety and fall prevention systems.