If you work in the field of construction or do roof repairs, then you probably already know just how important roof anchor points can be. For those of us that know nothing about them, you may have questions about this fascinating piece of fall protection equipment.

In today’s article, we are going to answer some of your burning questions and take a closer look at this life-saving innovation. Keep reading to find out more.

What is an Anchor in the Fall Protection System?

The anchor is the most integral part of the fall protection system. It’s a device that has been specifically constructed and installed to provide an extra level of safety when working on the roof. The anchor is connected to the roof and will fully support the weight of the worker, should they take a fall.

Once a worker climbs onto the roof, they should connect their lanyard or lifeline to the anchor immediately. Roof anchor point installation is extremely important. If it isn’t installed correctly, then it won’t provide any protection by serving as an anchor.

Are there Different Types of Roof Anchors Available for Fall Protection?

Yes, there are a number of different roof anchor points available, each with their own application options. Different types can be used in different industries.

  • Permanent anchors:This type of anchor was designed to be a permanent fixture on the building. They need to be able to handle a specific load and have design parameters. Workers can use them to perform routine maintenance or other repairs.
  • Temporary anchors: These are fitted to the building on a temporary basis and can be moved when needed. In the case of roofers, they can be accompanied by wire rope slings, beam clamps and beam sliders.

Roof access points should be able to handle the weight of a medium-sized car (300 lbs. or more). These points must be tested very carefully before use. Pulling and tugging on them is not a sufficient test.

What are the Strength Requirements of Roof Anchors?

The strength of the roof anchor will depend on the following features:

  • Condition
  • Design
  • Connection to the supporting structure
  • The direction of loading
  • If an energy absorbing device is being used

The load level that can be applied depends largely on the fall protection system that is being used. Each state has specific laws and requirements that must be taken into account.

What are Tips to Follow when Using Roof Anchor Points?

  • First, identify the location of the roof anchor point and make sure it can handle the weight limit requirements.
  • Ensure the points are strong, stable and in the right location.
  • Make sure all roof access points are marked and install a safety gate for added protection.
  • Always use the shortest lanyard available. The worker should still be able to walk around and do his or her job, but if they should fall, they will be prevented from falling to the ground.
  • The lanyard should be attached to an anchor that isn’t lower than shoulder height.
  • Take note of the swing-fall distance when installing the roof anchor points. Try to select an anchor point that is directly above the worker to reduce the swing distance if the worker falls.
  • The platform and roof anchor point should have independent anchors. If the platform fails, then the worker will still be protected.
  • Use an anchor connector such as a snap hook, or soft loop for added protection.
  • Install temporary anchors if no permanent ones are available.
  • Ensure that you follow all the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Always remove the temporary anchor once the work has been successfully completed.
  • Test the roof anchor before using it.
  • If the anchor is damaged in any way, it should be replaced immediately.
  • Never tie your fall protection equipment to roof hatches, TV antennas, air-conditioning units, metal chimneys, pipes and ducts, or roof vents.

What Should I Look for When Inspecting Roof Anchor Points?

It’s important to inspect the roof anchor point before allowing anyone to use it. You should look for any corrosion or visible damage. Next, check the stability. Don’t forget to check the lanyard for rips, tears or damage.

Keep records of all the inspections and include the date, name of the inspector and record any findings. The fall protection system should be inspected by a professional engineer at least once a year.

Final Thoughts

If any work needs to be carried out on the roof or at a height, then roof anchor points should be installed as a safety feature. Proper installation is essential to ensure that the worker is protected and will minimise the risk of injury or even death.

Hopefully, this article has answered all the questions you had about roof anchor points. Is there anything else about at height work that you have questions about? Let us know in the comments.