Safety First: 6 Practical Guidelines for Roof Anchors

  • Michael Grant
  • February 15, 2018

Occupational safety technology had advanced by leaps and bounds over the past few decades. Compared to years ago, there are so many more options, as manufacturers are starting to better understand that fall protection is not a one size fits all model.

1. Tailor solutions

Roof anchors are a great example of how the same technology can be deployed in a multitude of ways to find the solution that works best for the job at hand. Of course, no two roofs are exactly alike, so the anchor used on each one needs to be individually determined to maximize safety.

The fact that temporary and mobile anchor point options exist is extremely useful, but it is more important that in addition to using them, you ensure that you are using the correct one. When proceeded with a project, it is important to understand the different mobile anchor points available and which ones work well with different types of roofs.

2. Residential Roofs

Due to the vast range of roofs one might encounter, residential structures present a unique set of challenges. With everything being done to keep the price of homes at a manageable level, in the past the safety technology or fall protection equipment was so expensive that it would be simply de disregarded. That being said, legislation has since been enforced in many places that requires fall projection when it comes to residential construction, essentially meaning that residential projects are now held to the same standard as commercial projects.

3. Increased accessibility

Luckily, the obstacles that used to impede companies from seeking proper fall protection no longer exist. Equipment for residential construction is now widely available, offers great variety, and is relatively inexpensive. You can find anchors for under $20, and even the heavily enhanced options only reach upwards of a couple hundred bucks.

Most of these are designed to be attached directly to the wooden frame, to the wooden roof itself, or for use on wood or tile roofs. They are generally quick to install, and with so many affordable options available, it has become part of standard safety procedure.

4. Commercial roof solutions

When it comes to assessing safety, the typically flat and featureless design of commercial roofs can be a doubled edged sword. Due to the fact that upkeep of commercials roofs often required frequent shorter visits, maintenance workers may not see the necessity of fall protection for every visit. In some cases, the concern is that the job will be finished in much less time than it takes to worry about fall protection.

5. Know your responsibilities

Whether that be the case or not though, it doesn’t exclude the employer from their due to protect workers while on the job. Sometimes, due to frequent short visits, it makes sense for commercial building to install a permanent rail system. Short of this, it is also worth considering permanent or temporarily installed roof anchors.

6. Build to last

There are roof anchors that are designed to be permanently mounted to steal, wood, or concrete. That means that a maintenance employee accessing the roof need only proceed directly to an anchor point and connect their harness. For a building owner, this can be a very effective solution that decreases the total time spend on the job and allows users to quickly protect themselves.

Worth noting though, is that it does require roof penetration, so it is important to prevent water intrusion after installation, but once in place there is little to think about. Anchors like these come in varying heights and can also be used in groups to create horizontal lifelines.

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Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a cancer survivor. I'm also a home entrepreneur and stay-at-home grandfather. In the past thirty years, I've dabbled in the the financial sector, the technology industry, as well as a little business consulting. I guess you can call me a jack of all trades!

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