Fall Protection Anchors
In the ever-evolving realm of construction, where every project presents a unique set of challenges, ensuring the safety of workers takes center stage. Nowhere is this more critical than for roofers, who brave heights and unpredictable terrains. Picture this: you're on the verge of a roofing project, standing at the edge, grappling with the pivotal question – which fall protection anchor is the ideal solution to keep your crew safe while staying on-time and on-budget?
How do you select the right anchor, tailored to the nuances of your specific roofing endeavor? Do you opt for a roof ridge anchor? a steel structure anchor, or perhaps a concrete post strap? The choices are as vast as the open sky above, and the decision-making process can be daunting.
Join us in this exploration of Fall Protection Anchors 101, where we unravel the intricacies of roof safety. Delve into the world of anchors designed to keep you secure amidst the rafters. Let's not just understand the importance of fall protection but, more crucially, let's navigate the seas of options together, answering the burning question: how do you choose the best fall protection anchor for your unique roofing project?
This OSHA sponsored training video shows various styles of fall protection roof anchors that we will be discussing below.
Let's break down the multitudes of anchor styles into 6 very broad categories:
Roof Ridge Anchors
When considering fall protection, the attachment point is crucial. Roof ridge anchors, designed for attachment to the roof ridge, are among the most common choices for roofers. These anchors maintain an anchorage point upslope of the work zone. Options include anchors installing under the ridge cap or temporary ridge anchors in the absence of a ridge cap.
An exemplary ridge anchor is the RidgePro Roof Peak Anchor. Constructed from high-grade aluminum, it exceeds industry standards for tensile strength, meeting OSHA requirements for fall protection. The RidgePro is very popular amongst roof inspectors, insurance adjusters, roofers, maintenance workers, and holiday lighting installers due to its versatility and mobility.
Another popular product is the flexible permanent ridge anchor, such as the Super Anchor 2815 Retrofit Anchor.
It includes nails and a waterproof flashing strip for easy installation underneath the ridge cap, ensuring both durability and water resistance.
Understanding the nuances of various roof ridge anchors is crucial, ensuring optimal safety for roofers transitioning between the ladder and the peak.
Specialty, Permanent or Temporary Installations
An often-overlooked aspect is the lifespan of the anchor. Some anchors serve permanently, while others suit temporary or disposable situations. Understanding the project's duration and requirements is vital for aligning the anchor with the scope of work.
There are numerous specialty anchors such as parapet anchors, and horizontal lifelines for standing seam roofs. Parapet anchors are useful for fall arrest and restraint in tricky situations where other types of anchorages can’t be utilized. The Falltech 7460A is a great example and does not require any tools to install. It fits parapets up to 15” thick with a 425 lbs OSHA worker capacity and tested to 5,000 lbs.
For standing seam roof systems, specialty anchors are a must. Anchors must be able to lock onto the seams securely without penetrating the panels. The Standing Seam Roof Anchor SSRA1 is an industry leader in this type of attachment. It is unique due to its ability to expand it's functionality by adding SSRA adapter plates.
This brief video gives an overview of the SSRA1 and the adapter plates.
The SSRA2 Roof Jack adapters add the ability to install wood walkboards on standing seam roofs with zero panel penetrations. The SSRA3 Anchor Plate adapters allow the deployment of horizontal lifelines up to 100’ on standing seam roof without penetrations. There is a kit available that combines the SSRA1 anchors, SSRA3 Anchor Plates and a 100' Horizontal Lifeline for an out-of-the-box solution.
Standing Seam Roof Anchor is the industry’s only component mounting system designed specifically for standing seam roof systems. Its patented universal-fit design allows for one device to be compatible without about 95% of today’s standing seam roof systems. According to OSHA guidelines, anchors used for personal fall arrest systems must be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached or meet the criteria specified by a qualified person.
Steel Structure Anchors
For projects involving steel structures, steel anchors take center stage. Equipped with movable eyebolts and swivel rebar hooks, they are ideal for temporary anchoring on steel structures. The right steel anchor depends on the material and specific project requirements.
Options include Bull Ring Anchors, versatile for personal fall arrest, restraint, or work positioning. Anchor posts, compatible with wood, steel, and concrete substrates, extend through roofing and support various fall protection systems. Steel Beam Flange Anchors, designed for steel beams, offer diverse choices for different applications.
Choosing the appropriate steel anchor is pivotal for ensuring both safety and structural integrity when working at heights.
One of the most cost-effective anchors for steel structures is the simple D-ring style anchor. The Falltech 7414 is one of the most popular bolt-on applications, meeting OSHA regulations for strength and reliability. For applications that require a weld-on d-ring, the Falltech 7414P is designed for that purpose.
In diverse construction scenarios, concrete anchors play a vital role. Before installation, scanning the area to avoid rebar is imperative. Concrete anchors offer options like wedge anchors, bolt anchors, anchor straps, parapet anchors, and pour-in-place anchors.
The choice of a concrete anchor depends on whether it will be embedded into drying concrete or attached through drilling or bolting. Considering the specific requirements of the construction project and the type of concrete structure is essential for effective fall protection.
Depending on the situation, you could simply wrap a strap around a concrete column for a quick and easy temporary anchor point with the Malta A6400 Anchor strap.
For permanent installation, the Falltech 7451A Rotating Concrete Anchor is an affordable choice. This option would require drilling a 11/16”(18mm) hole in the concrete to insert the anchor into, meeting OSHA standards for concrete anchor strength.
Residential and Commercial Roof Anchors
Different roofs necessitate different anchors. Residential and commercial roof anchors cater to specific surfaces, be it wood or metal. Options include Non-Penetrating Fall Protection Anchors, CB Anchor Posts for long-term use, Wood Roof Anchors for wood sheathing, and versatile Roof Ridge Anchors for various roof types.
Selecting the right roof anchor hinges on understanding the surface, roof type, and the nature of the work being performed to align with safety standards. According to OSHA, anchors must be capable of supporting the maximum intended load.
For roofs currently under construction, the Super Anchor 3006 Hinged Roof anchor is a great choice for temporary anchorage on wood roofs. A starter set of nails is included for fast and easy installation.
For a permanent option, the Falltech 7434 fastens to the wood structure and is then shingled over during the roofing process, providing a lasting anchorage point.
For projects with diverse requirements, multi-application anchors provide versatility. Options include Sewn Web Anchors in heavy-duty polyester webbing, Coated or Uncoated Galvanized Steel Cable for robust attachment points, and Nomex® and Kevlar® Web Anchors for welding and arc flash protection.
When selecting multi-application anchors, considering the specific work environment and nature of the work is vital to ensure safety at heights. OSHA emphasizes the importance of selecting and using fall protection systems suitable for the given conditions.
Pass-thru style, cross arm straps, choker straps are all examples of Multi-Application anchors. They are versatile and portable for various scenarios. The Malta Dynamics A6351 6’ Cross Arm Strap is a popular option for creative anchoring situations, meeting OSHA standards for fall protection equipment.
Determining the most suitable type of anchor is imperative to the success of a construction project. Stay vigilant in keeping up with the latest advancements in fall protection gear and techniques. For personalized guidance tailored to your specific project requirements, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at Fall Protection Distributors, LLC at 863-703-4522. Let's discuss your unique challenges and find a reasonable safety solution. Safe climbing!