In today's construction environment, most engineers are specifying roof anchors that are permanently built into the building at the time of construction. These anchors should be sturdy and enable construction workers and along with window washing equipment to move up and down along the sides of the building without fear of failure. Roof top anchors are always needed to secure the window washing equipment in high rise buildings. Lives are on the line with roof anchors, therefore these connectors must meet the standards set by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, more commonly known as OSHA.
If you are a builder, the responsibility lies with the building company to properly specify and install the necessary roof anchors to allow the workers to be protected from falls at all stages of construction hence ensure the safety of your crew with right fall protection equipment. Remember falls from heights are the number one source of fatal injuries at constructions sites. The responsibility of maintaining safe and secure rooftop anchors is very important as laborers and window cleaners often risk their lives working from elevated positions.
- Your roof top anchors should be an integral part of the overall structure in the design and engineering phase. It is important that the roof anchors are constructed and installed in a way that supports a minimum of 5000 pounds per worker.
- For self retracting lifelines, that limit the free fall to 2 feet or less, the anchorage point must be able to withstand a minimum of 3000 pounds per worker.
- It should also be noted that you should never set an anchor point at foot level. In the event of a fall, the worker could hit a nearby obstruction, or possibly free fall to a drop of more that 6 feet, usually causing severe injury.
Across many businesses, window washing tasks are often allotted to in house personnel and are not carried out by contractors. This makes safety paramount and full responsibility is entrusted upon the parent company.
All roof anchors, fall arrest, and fall protection equipment should be monitored and inspected before each use. Proper maintenance of all equipment is a must. If any equipment is cracked, frayed, or bent, it must be replaced. Check with your fall protection equipment expert regarding any equipment that is used in a fall. Most equipment used in a fall, must be replaced and cannot be reused.