Common Mobile Anchor Points to Use When Working at Height
Falls from heights is still the leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries. A majority of the fatalities are usually due to lack of proper workforce training, lack of proper fall protection, or failure to use fall protection when working at height. Today, there’s a wide array of mobile anchor points that you can use to provide solutions to most fall protection situations when working at height. Before we learn about some of these anchor points, ensure you have the right access equipment in place, such as safety ladders for convenient access to different heights.
Beam Clamps and Trolleys
A good, strong, load-bearing structural steel beam can make a great option for an anchor point. Beam clamps are recommended if your work is fairly static in location, and beam trolleys if you’ll need to move from one point to another. Both work under the same principle - tightening around the wider part of the beam. You’ll need to check whether the beam is at or above D-ring level to reduce freefall distance in case of a fall.
Anchor straps are specifically designed to protect victims against falls. They can be attached to some supporting structural steel on a piece of equipment, but you need to check whether the equipment is suitable to be used as an anchor. If the equipment is not strong enough, you may have to look for a more suitable place around to connect your snap hook. It’s important to consider the rating of the strap before using it’s strong enough to effectively support your employees. Ensure to also protect the strap from the edges of the steel, especially if it lacks built-in abrasion protection.
Mobile Anchors With Weights
Unlike common fall protection stanchions that penetrate roofing membranes to be attached to structural steel below, mobile anchors with weight can perform the same task without roof penetration. Ensure to properly train your workforce in assembling and disassembling the anchor point to prevent avoidable errors that could result in injuries. The weights are broken down into manageable sizes for convenience and you can move them around in a cart that often comes with the system.
These also operate under similar principle to roof stanchions - the weight of the personnel attached is counteracted by the weights in the cart. The carts contain feet that lodge in the fluting of the metal deck or dig into the roof in the event of a fall. Most carts are designed with additional anchors for employees using them for travel restraint and anchor points that allow a particular number of employees to use the cart for fall arrest. Ensure to check the direction the cart should be facing based on the surface on which it’s resting.
This is a metal bar that’s wedged into place on the far side of a window or door jamb from where the task is to take place. It’s adjustable in size and can be a quick, easy, and effective solution, especially when used properly.
If your building contains a parapet that’s not high enough to count as fall protection, you may opt to use parapet clamp anchors to protect you in the event of a fall. Ensure to look for a parapet clamp designed for that purpose since a parapet clamp designed to be used only as a rail base may not provide you with protection as an anchor.