One of the biggest advantages industrial rope access has over conventional options for working at height that use scaffolding is the simplicity of the system. Erecting and disassembling scaffolding is a long, complicated process that calls for huge amounts of planning and uses tonnes of hardware and equipment. Rope access, by contrast, requires only basic planning and a few essential pieces of equipment, all of which can generally fit in the back of a ute. One such piece of equipment, which is essential to the safety of rope access technicians, is the roof anchor point. In this blog, we’ll look at the function roof anchor points serve, the different types used in various industries, and the importance of choosing the right one for the job.
What Are Anchor Points?
An anchor point is a piece of safety equipment intended to prevent falls while working at height. The anchor point is usually a piece of stainless steel that is bolted – either temporarily or permanently – to a surface such as a roof or the ground and to which the rope access technician’s harness is attached. The anchor point must be strong enough to reliably support the weight of the technician, the rope itself, and any other equipment that is attached to the rope.
What Are the Different Types of Anchor Points?
Anchor points are all used to ensure the safety of workers when working at height, but they achieve this in different ways. For instance, an anchor used for fall restraint is an anchor that restricts the technician’s range of movement, thereby reducing the likelihood of a fall before it happens. By contrast, an anchor used for fall arrest is intended to arrest the fall of the technician once the fall has occurred. Even if the weight of the load does not change, these two types of restraint will have different load-bearing capacities, as the additional strain created by a sudden fall and the load coming to an abrupt stop will mean this kind of anchor needs to be much stronger than if the weight were constant. This is the difference between a “static load” and a “dynamic load”.
How Do Rope Access Technicians Ensure the Safety of Anchor Points?
There are strict guidelines in Australia and specifically Victoria around the use of anchor points. The anchors used in rope access applications are static load anchors and must have a specified load rating of 12kN, or approximately 1200kg. This is calculated based on the strength of the anchor mechanism itself as well as the surface to which it is attached.
Why Choose Max Access?
At Max Access, we always put safety first. All of our staff are fully certified, highly experienced rope access technicians, and we apply maximum work safe methods on every job. Since getting our start in Australia’s oil and gas construction industry, we have built a reputation for professionalism, safety, and exceptional quality of work in the construction, commercial, and maintenance sectors. We offer safe, reliable rope access services for cleaning, caulking, welding, painting, building inspections and more.