4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Roof Anchor Points – As Suggested by Experts

If you’ve ever spent any time on top of your house roof, you know how unstable the situation can be. The risk is increased 10-fold when you or a contractor have to perform maintenance on a commercial roof on top of a considerably taller building. 

Roof workers are all too aware of the importance of correct roof anchor point installation to prevent accidents. It’s crucial for construction workers, regular maintenance crews and general contractors to practice the required height safety regulations. 

How Do Roof Anchor Points Work?

Essentially, roof anchor points are installed on the roof of a building and provide a safe anchor point for safety harnesses or ropes to be attached to. The workers performing maintenance tasks on the roof or surrounding areas, secure themselves to the anchor points to prevent accidental falls. Roof anchor points are an essential part of a fall protection system. 

Expert Advice When Installing Roof Anchor Points

There are several points to consider before choosing the types of roof anchor points that will form the basis of your fall protection system. Read on for these tips as shared by our experts. 

  1. What Type of Roof Will Your Team Be Working On?

Since not all roofs are made of the same materials, it makes sense that not all roof anchor points will work on every type of roof. Therefore, check that the roof anchor you’re considering is suitable for the roof type your crew will be working on.

Speak to a consultant from the company you’re purchasing anchor points from for more comprehensive choices. If you’re going to be working on different roof types, you’ll probably need varying types of roof anchors. 

  1. What Tasks Need to be Performed on the Roof?

Roof anchors aren’t all the same. The type of roof anchor point you’ll need depends largely on the job that has to be done. For simpler maintenance jobs, our experts suggest using anchor points with D-ring connections. 

For work on very tall buildings, or tasks that require extensive climbing, leaning or bending you’ll need to install a more complex lifeline system. A golden rule to remember is that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. This means it might be necessary to install extra precautionary measures to keep your team safe

  1. Consider the Number of Workers Who Need to Work on the Roof at One Time

As you’re designing your fall protection system, it’s crucial to consider how many people will be working on the roof at one point. There are systems designed to accommodate more than one worker if that’s the requirement. 

  1. Review the Quality of the Roof Anchor Points

As with everything else, you’ll always find a cheaper option if you look hard enough. Our experts warn against opting for cheaper versions as they’re not always quality products. Always use the following guidelines to determine quality:

  • Ensure the anchor points and the installations comply with Australian standards which means they must be manufactured according to Australian regulations AS5532 
  • The anchor points should always be installed by industry professionals which in Australia means it should be done according to Australian regulation AS1891-4
  • All components used in the fall protection system should be inspected by a professional before installation
  • Ensure that the anchor points can hold the weight of the worker(s) that will be tied to it – this is often referred to as the load-bearing weight

As a Bonus, Some Safety Tips to Consider

Having a quality fall system in place is only part of the plan. There are also a few safety tips that should always be implemented. Our experts recommend the following:

  • Devise a rescue plan in case of an accident or emergency 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding maintenance and inspection of all components connected to your fall protection system
  • Conduct regular training sessions with your employees to ensure they know how to safely use the various components
  • The elevated work platform must always be operated on a stable horizontal surface
  • Ensure that only competent and certified staff assess the possible risks and precautionary measures before getting started
  • The anchor points as well as the other components in the fall prevention system must only be used for their intended purpose
  • Certified experts should perform anchor testing and inspections annually
  • While it’s possible to install roof anchor points yourself, we advise against it – rather let certified experts with experience oversee the job

Final Thoughts

Installing a safe and secure fall protection system is the primary step to avoiding fall-related accidents. In addition to opting for quality products, regular maintenance, inspection and training should be done. Roof work is dangerous and ensuring that you have the right anchor points in place will allow everyone to get the job done safely! 

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