In Australia, around 7000 people die every year due to falling from the Roof of buildings.
Working on the roof is a tough job that includes high risk. The uneven surface, combined with the pitch of the roof makes it more difficult. Working on these roofs might result in falling, which leads to injury and even deaths. All workers are entitled to a safe working environment.
It is the duty of the employer to ensure the safety of their employees by using the proper safety measures. They should provide a safe environment for the workers while they are working above certain heights. They are liable under Australian Law in case of non-compliance or violation.
Roof Anchor points are one of the measures they should take to ensure the safety and security of his employees or indeed any roofers that are contracted to work on site.
The selection of a roof anchor is not always an easy task because of the range of different materials used to construct roofs like concrete tiles and slate, Terracotta tiles, COLORBOND and other metal sheets.
What is a roof anchor point?
An Anchor Point is an essential part of the fall protection system, installed on the roof. It connects with height safety personal protection equipment to facilitate safe working at heights. Workers have to attach safety harnesses, ropes, and other safety equipment to be safe.
Roof anchor points may be temporary or permanent, both types are available. It is very important to install roof anchors to make sure the safety of you or your employees in case of any hazards.
Key considerations for the selection of a Roof Anchor point
- What type of fall arrest energy-absorbing design?
- What type of forces required by the anchor point to withstand.
- Type of anchor compatible with the lanyard you are using.
- What type of duties are you going to perform by using the anchor point?
An important part of installing the roof anchor point is the appropriate placement on the roof.
What is the difference between fall arrest and rope access anchors?
- A fall arrest system: A fall arrest system arrests the worker in mid-air once the fall has occured and prevents them falling down to a lower level.
- A rope access system is a method of enabling work to be carried out on atriums, facades or exterior areas at height using a rope abseil system.
There are a couple of over systems that can also be used to prevent falls:
Difference between fall arrest & rope access anchors | Sayfa
Roof anchor points for different Roofs
- Metal Roof Anchor Point: Designed for the steel roofs. Generally made of stainless steel and easy to install. It is useful for the steel roof with steel purlins. The installation of this anchor point is simple by pre-drilling holes in-line. The spacing should be with industrial rivets.
- Tiled Roofs- Anchor Point: A design for tiled roof fits between the two tiles. Remove a tile that sits over a rafter screw and place the anchor point into the rafter at the correct height. It allows the attachment point to protrude below the tile. Then the tile placed back to its original position.
How to choose the right roof anchor point
Some Guidelines to remember when choosing a roof anchor point:
- Prefer a steel roof anchor point.
- A professional inspection of anchor-bolts, through-bolts, and plate washers
- Anchor points with conjunction should use the equipment. It includes eye bolts, turnbuckles; concrete embeds, and beam clamps.
- Inspect and test the load-bearing capacity of the roof anchor point.
- You should check the energy-absorbing properties of the roof anchor.
Australian Standards for Roof Anchor Point
Australia has certain standards related to roof anchor points, these include:
AS/NZ 1891- Industrial fall arrest system and devices
This standard is the common effort of the Australian/New Zealand committee. The standard includes the specification of material for manufacturing, design, and testing. The various types of equipment include harness, lanyard, and pole yard. It also includes connecting devices and personal energy absorbers.
AS/NZ 4488 – Industrial rope access systems
This standard includes various factors to consider the specification, use, and maintenance. The pieces of equipment include the harness and industrial safety belts.
This standard includes the manufacturing rule for single-point anchor devices. These devices include harness-based work at height.
Every single-point anchor must pass the below four tests with both anchor and the structure:
1. Dynamic load in-line with the roof sheet- 15 kN
To perform this test, they need a 100Kg mass drop from a height of 2 meters off the anchor while installing on the roof.
2. Static load in-line with the roof sheet- 15 kN
The anchor installed onto the roof deck and a load of 1530Kg (15 kN) held on the anchor for three minutes.
3. Dynamic load across the roof sheet- 15 kN
The third test is the same as test 1. Yet, rather than loading in-line the anchor with the roof deck and turned it 90 degrees loaded across.
4. Static load across the roof sheet- 15 kN
The fourth test is the same as test 2. But this test performs by loading the anchor across the roof deck.
Key points to Consider
There are certain points to consider when installing roof anchor points:
- Make sure the companies offering the service follow the safety standards. In case the company quotes the cheaper price and promises turn-around time. It might result in dangerous circumstances.
- Make sure companies you are hiring use anchor points manufactured to Australian standards.
It is your responsibility to choose the right roof anchor point for safety reasons. Make sure all standards are met.