Temporary Anchor Points
When working at heights in an area that does not have anchor points, static line or sufficient structure to attach to, the only option apart from putting up temporary edge protection is a portable anchor. There are quite a few different types of temporary anchor points on the market. Which one you choose will largely depend upon what the surface is that you are working on. Please see below our range of temporary anchor points. Please click on each one to read more about them or the best option is to give us a call and we can help you choose the most appropriate anchor for your situation.
Using a temporary anchor point should be considered the last resort after all other higher levels of control such as temporary edge protection have been considered. The reason for this is the higher level of risk that comes with using them. The only training that is required to install and use a temporary anchor point is the nationally accredited working at heights course. However, most of these courses do not provide sufficient training on how to set up, design, install and use one of these systems safely.
To help with this we have put together a five step process to help keep you safe. However it is our strong recommendation that proper training is completed through an accredited working at heights RTO before any works are undertaken. Working at heights is high risk and must be taken seriously. Too often we see workers become complacent once they have worked at heights for a while. They lose their fear and begin to take short cuts. This is when accidents can occur. One thing that must be reinforced to anyone working at heights is that if you make a mistake you won’t get a second chance. Even a relatively short fall can cause extremely serous injuries or death. Many young workers have had their careers and lives cut short due to complacency. Don’t let your work site become the scene of a tragic accident.
Step 1 – Assessment
First assess the site and consider what works need to be completed. Consider if higher levels of control can be used, such as temporary edge protection, EWP or completing the works on the ground. If this can’t be achieved then move onto step 2
Step 2 – Choosing the right temporary anchor point
In the event of a fall, up to 15kN (1500kg) of force may be exerted back through the person and their height safety equipment. AS1891.1 states that the maximum force that can be exerted back through a person is 6kN (600kg). To comply with this you must have an inline shock absorber as part of your attachment system between you and the temporary anchor point. Now you know the amount of force that could be transferred through the system, you start to look for what you can attach the temporary anchor too. In general it will be either a metal or concrete roof. Knowing this will narrow down what type of anchor.
Step 3 – Assessing the structure of the roof
If it is a metal roof, you need to determine what profile it is. As this will also have an impact upon which type of anchor you can use. For example, if it is a klip loc roof you can only use the Spyda with clamp kit. Whereas if it is a screw down roof like a tray deck or corrugated then you can use either the standard Spyda or Templink. If concrete then you need to ensure that the slab is thick enough to drill into. In general you want the slab to be at least 200mm thick and some types will require over this. When drilling into concrete slabs you also need to ensure that there is no electrical or plumbing in the slab that could be damaged.
Step 4 – Design of the system
Once you have chosen the correct temporary anchor point to suit the type of job you are doing and also the type of roof structure, you then need to design the system. It is vital that you design the location of the anchors so that you can work in fall restraint. When using a temporary anchor point you should avoid working in fall arrest at all costs. This is where your training comes in. There are some great courses now where you can learn this type of information and we highly recommend that you undertake a course with rescue training prior to commencing work. Often they will offer this as part of an extended nationally accredited working at heights course. It will teach you about design, placement, writing the plan, inducting other workers into that plan, set up of the rescue system and finally conducting a rescue. But remember that you should never rely on your rescue plan as your work methodology. Always work in fall restraint. One of the considerations may be that you will need more than one temporary anchor point to safely conduct the works. This is where you may want to consider incorporating in other types of systems such as temporary static lines. These can be a great way of keeping workers safe. Especially when you are working along a straight edge. Installing a temporary static line and using a short lanyard or rope line can allow workers to be in fall restraint but still be able to freely move up and down the edge. Anchor points can’t do this quite as well.
Step 5 – Documentation and execution
The final step is to write your SWMS, design and rescue plan and induct all workers into these procedures. Ensure that everyone that will be using the systems understands how the system was designed to be used, how to use the equipment correctly and what their role will be. It is vital that everyone understands their role to minimise risk. Finally you should have a supervisor oversee the works to ensure that everyone is working in accordance with the SWMS. Ideally this person is the same one who designed the system. That way they have an in depth understanding of how it works.
For further information about our range of temporary anchor points, temporary static lines and height safety equipment please contact us at any time.