Roof anchors are vital components for safe roofing. In fact, the number of deaths by accident from falling off a roof is a constant threat to all tradespeople that have to work in this high environment. Working at height is a major risk, and there are a number of safety recommendations that are actually mandatory for securing insurance as well as assuring you don’t damage or kill yourself while working high.
Working on the roof is a dangerous profession, any roof, but especially the angled ones where the surface is not flat and is not horizontal. According to Cherry and Clark Roofing, attaching roof anchors at certain intervals is key to securing a safe working environment.
Securing Anchor Points
While it is imperative to attach anchor points open a roof, not all anchor points are equal and not all locations are viable for safe anchoring. This means that before you even select your roof anchor, you need first to decide where it will be located and how it will be secured to withstand both permanent and temporary locational installation.
What is a roof anchor point?
A roof anchor point is a component of a comprehensive solution providing a height safety solution for personal protection equipment (PPE). These equipment configurations, when combined, provide enough safety features to assure that a person on a roof will not be seriously injured when falling. Both temporary and permanent anchor points are of equal importance in such a configuration of equipment.
Anchor Point Choice
The questions you need to ask when securing an anchor point include:
- What type of forces must the anchor points withstand?
- To what type of anchor points can you safely attach your lanyard?
- What will you do on the roof?
- Where will you secure the anchor point?
There are essentially two categories of roof anchor points, and these include the fall arrest system which is designed to “arrest” an attached individual during a fall, stopping that individual from hitting a lower level. These arrest the fall.
The rope system is used as an alternative fall protection condition where the standard arrest systems won’t work. Rope systems help individuals climb up and down from roofs, and in most cases are attached to a harness or other suspension methods such as a work seat.
Roof Anchor Point Considerations
Consider these points when choosing a roof anchor for your next project:
- Steel members are preferred materials.
- Only engineer certified wood must be used.
- Make sure the anchor, through-bolts, and washers are inspected by a professional.
- Configure into the system eyebolts, turnbuckles, concrete imbeds and beam clamps.
- Make sure you have tested and knew the load-bearing capacity of the system, especially the anchor bolt.
- Never use a suspect anchor bolt, and never buy a system or component that is not OSHA certified.
- Factor in modern materials that can absorb energy, and consider the flexibility of application between residential, commercial and industrial construction requirements.