Fall protection is lifesaving equipment. We see it all the time, and we maybe use it all the time.
The anchor is the portion of a fall protection system that you actually use to attach to the structure, or whatever it is you are going to use to support your weight in case you fall.
The anchors we use the most depend on the job we’re at, typically the type that we used are:
Type A: the flat style anchors you can nail down to the top of roof, you can remove them when you end the job.
Type B: the anchor systems where they bridge several trusses, things like they can be positioned around, moved a lot easier.
Type C: the permanent anchors, they go underneath the ridge cap on a roof, so as your roofers are going up, they put this anchor in place and then cover it with roof cap.
We know that an anchor point that we attached to needs to be rated for 5,000 lb.
But why the anchor points capability has been rated for 5,000 lb?
How often do we see it engineered as such?
You see that can present some difficulties on a project.
So what can we do that’s practical within reason, that will help us make good decisions.
When we attach a life to a structure, that’s hopefully been designed to keep them alive off the ground.
What can we do?
Notice how the OSHA standard for fall protection.
OSHA says anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be capable of supporting at least 5,000 lb per employee.
It shall be designed, installed and used as part of a complete personal fall arrest system, which maintains a safety factor of at least two and under the supervision of a qualified person.
if it’s not clear that this is a 5,000 lb anchor, you need to get direction and supervision from that qualified person.
Falls continue to be the leading cause of death in construction, and so it’s something important and very serious for us to consider.
When we’re not clear, are we consulting with or are we being supervised by a fall protection qualified person to really evaluate what we’re using as anchorages and anchor points on our projects?
So the word we should to do is training and identify the qualified person, really allow them to supervise and ensure the anchorage is used for the attachment of personal fall arrest systems.
And always be sure, not only do we select the right tool for the job, that we install and ensure our construction workers install it the appropriate way in the appropriate place.