Roof anchor points support fall protection and fall arrest systems as well as rope descent systems. It’s vital, therefore, that they work effectively and correct anchor installation and use are only part of that. To ensure they continue to protect your workers from falls, it’s essential they’re checked and that fall protection anchor load testing is undertaken at specific intervals. In order to comply with regulations, recertification of equipment is also necessary. Read More
Regulations regarding fall protection anchor testing are issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several other organizations. It’s important that you are aware of these regulations and that you comply with them.
Regulations Covering Roof Anchor Testing
The main and most internationally recognized regulatory body is OSHA, which requires that anchorages for rope descent systems have to be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds for every attached employee in each direction. It further stipulates that building owners must ensure that such anchorages are inspected by a qualified person every year and that testing and recertification are necessary every ten years or as necessary.
For these purposes, a qualified person is one who has sufficient training, experience or qualification to undertake the work. Any necessary testing during the ten-year period may be due to major alterations to the building, accidental damage or exposure to severe weather.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) requires that anchors fastened by adhesive be tested and recertified by a registered professional engineer at no more than five year intervals while the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) states a maximum of five years for testing and recertification of fall protection systems that use anchorages. It also states that active fall protection systems need to be inspected prior to each use by an authorized person, and annually by a qualified or competent person.
Anchorage connectors used for window cleaning are required by ANSI to be inspected annually by a qualified person and must be recertified every ten years or after re-roofing or renovation that affects the cleaning process. Although these organizations do not have the same influence as OSHA, it often cites their standards and they are viewed as accepted bases of care. Speak to our team about installing window washing anchors.
Ensuring Systems are Safe to use
Roof systems are open to the elements and can suffer corrosion, cracks and other impairments that cause them to lose strength. Consequently, inspection and roof anchor load testing should be undertaken at least as frequently as the minimum requirements. Testing may include pull testing that checks the strength of the anchor although this needs to be carried out with care to avoid damage that will require a replacement.
To ensure your anchorages remain effective and safe to use, the Shine on Anchors team can arrange a program of inspecting and testing at prescribed periods, generally annually. We’ll check that the current layout is appropriate, that everything is set up correctly and that there are no signs of deterioration or loss of strength. If necessary, we’ll undertake pull tests and will issue recertification for anchors that are satisfactory, replacing those that are not. The result will be a full protection system that’s always effective, safe and compliant.