Although there may at one time not have been much variety in the types of anchor points available, now there’s plenty of choice. The challenge is to choose those that are most suitable for the working environment and the type of work, and that will give the greatest level of roof fall protection.
Choosing the Correct Type of Anchorage
OSHA roof anchor requirements state that:
- all transportable outriggers must be secured to an approved anchorage while they are in use
- tiebacks have to be secured to a building or structure via a structurally sound anchorage
- anchorages must be capable of supporting a minimum of 5,000 pounds of force per person or have a safety factor of two (so they will withstand twice the force applied in a fall)
- they must be independent of any anchorage used to suspend or support platforms.
The problem with adhering to these regulations is that roofs are of different types and present varying challenges. These include:
- Commercial roofs are often devoid of any features to which mobile anchor points can be attached. This does not, however, excuse employers from the responsibility of protecting their workers. Some anchor points are attached permanently and left in place while others are attached only for the duration of a job and don’t penetrate the roof. Some temporary anchor points use anchor clamps and it’s essential they’re always used when working on a roof.
- Residential roofs require the same level of protection as other types. Anchor points are available relatively cheaply and are attached to each roof’s wooden frame or to the roof itself, which may be tiled or wooden.
- Standing seam roofs provide particular challenges and anchor points for other roof types will not work on them. However, there are two-way standing seam anchors and clamp-style anchors that are designed specifically for these types of roof.