A focus on safety is a key part of any roofing project. That’s why having the right roof safety equipment and using it properly is so critical. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promotes safety on jobsites through education and enforcement. One of their most important policies is the use of fall arrest devices. While we often talk about the harness, there’s another critical component that gets less attention, the anchor point.
The Importance of Anchor Points
On the other end of the lifeline from the harness and the lanyard, the anchor point provides the weighted control necessary to keep roofers from falling to the ground. OSHA mandates that these devices be able to “support 5,000 pounds of weight per person tied to it” or withstand 2 times the forces that would be applied to it in a fall. These requirements are as specialized as they are important. Only use an experienced professional to install an anchor point.
Types of Anchor Points
Choose an anchor point based on the type of project work that you are conducting and how often it will be used. You choices include:
Portable Anchor Points
If you think you are only going to need an anchor point for a short period of time, than this is your best option. These systems can be installed quickly and do not require permanent attachment to a roof so they can moved from job to job. Portable anchor points come in several types, including rolling carts and deadweight anchors.
Horizontal lifelines are a more detailed solution, but can be installed on nearly all roof types. It’s a cable that goes along a roof and is attached by anchors at various points. Horizontal lifelines allow for multiple users to receive fall protection on one device. These systems are more expensive and challenging to install, thus, they are more suited for long term projects.
Permanent Anchor Points
For continued work on the roof, a permanent anchor point solution should be considered. These anchor points penetrate the roof and are good if you know that you will be working in the same area multiple times.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.