How Many Roof Anchor Points Do I Need?
There is nothing simple about roof anchor points.
Being that is our aspiration to create simple and safe solutions for all workers at heights, we felt it necessary to address one of our most commonly asked questions.
How Many Rooftop Anchor Points Do I Need?
Unfortunately, like many things related to the specifics of fall protection and roof safety, there isn’t a "one-size fits all" answer.
So, in response to this question, let's start at the beginning and ask a slightly different question.
Why are anchor points being used instead of other fall protection systems?
Safety is our number one priority. And when it comes to fall protection, any fall arrest system should be a last resort.
Let me take you down our thought process from a safety fall protection perspective.
- Can the fall hazard be removed?
- Can we put a barrier between the worker and the fall hazard?
- How do we keep the worker from serious injury or death?
When a hazard exists in a workplace, you must first try and eliminate the danger altogether. This will ultimately keep you and your employees the safest in the long term. However, we recognize that this isn’t always possible.
The purpose and function are to separate the person from the danger physically. This is considered a passive system, meaning nothing is required from the worker to initiate safety and usually takes the form of a safety guardrail.
If you cannot remove the fall hazard or put up guardrails, we will begin exploring the need for roof anchor points or horizontal lifelines. These are considered active fall protection. As the name suggests, the worker will need to actively engage in the system in order to be safe.
So, How Many Roof Anchor Points Do I Need?
There is no definitive answer because it all depends on a number of different factors. In order to get closer to the solution, we need to understand the situation in more detail. Here are some questions that you need to answer:
What work is being done?
How many people are doing the work?
How long will the work take place for?
Where is the working and walking surface?
Do you have a roof plan and elevation drawing available? (if not, we will need to discuss fall clearances, distances to the edge, working/walking surfaces, area of access and egress, etc.)
Our goal is to design a system that will work specific to your need, as well as keep you safe and in compliance. Without this information, there can be unknown hazards present that are not taken into account. Examples would be:
Skylights or other holes in the roof.
Loading dock or vehicles limiting the fall clearances.
Unprotected ladder access points.
Equipment or piping that creates a chemical, electrical, or radiation hazard.
Matching improper PPE with work being done.
Though we always want to give a clear-cut, simple answer to your fall protection questions, it’s not always possible. Safety is the priority. We can tell you to put one or one hundred anchor points on your roof. However, more anchor points does not mean the area is safe.
Let us work with you to create a safe work environment for everyone in your company.