Building Anchor Points

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Anchor points are required as a compatible system when workers are active on an elevated area that is close to an unprotected edge or workers are exposed to the hazard of falling. Anchor points are used as part of a fall protection system when workers are cleaning windows or carrying out suspended scaffold building maintenance. These can be part of a Building Facade Access System found commonly outside the USA.

OSHA defines an anchorage as a secure point of attachment for deceleration devices, lifelines, or lanyards. Anchorages are fixed structural components like a beam, girder, column or floor that can bolster the powers applied in arresting a fall. Anchorage connector is the component by which the connecting device is coupled to the anchorage. It may be a tripod, D-bolt, beam anchor, cross-arm strap, davit, hook anchor, or other secure devices that serves as a point of connection for deceleration devices, lifelines, or lanyards.

Anchorages and anchorage connectors are designed to support 5,000 lb per employee attached. Installation and usage of these components are done under the supervision of a qualified individual as part of an inclusive personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety feature of two or more. They must be independent and also be located high enough to prevent a worker from having contact with a lower level should a fall happen.

When building an anchor point, start by doing a hazard identification and estimation of the given work site. Then plan the system before beginning work. Put in thought every potential paths of user movement and all factors that could affect the user’s safety before, during and after a fall anyplace along these paths. All hazards identified in the work environment evaluation must be tended to and reasonable controls arranged and executed.

A certified individual must choose the components, materials, anchorage and anchorage connectors to match the system application, the work, workplace hazards and the environment. They must decide the fundamental areas of anchorages to guarantee that the user will be constantly connected when exposed to hazards of falling. Choose anchorages that are firm and have the strength required.

Cautiously choose the areas of the anchorages to lessen probable free fall distance, avoid swing fall dangers, and give clear space in the possible fall paths to avoid striking an item. Try not to choose anchorage areas that will require the user to work above the anchor as this will increase the possible free fall and avoidable fall distances. The angle of cable from anchor to edge must not exceed 15 degrees.

 PFAT helps building owners and managers understand why bids for anchor designs from Structural Engineering firms are so radically different from those requested through window cleaning firms and how to decide what is needed without conflict but instead through cooperation, working as a team

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