People seem to be more aware of the fact that workers should be trained to work at heights than they are about the integrity of the anchor points they attach to.
Fall protection anchors, also known as anchor points, should be installed and tested by competent persons and in compliance with SANS 50795. We are passionate about design and testing capabilities as part owners in Work at Heights Solutions (PTY) LTD.
Installation of rope access anchors
The competency to install fall protection anchors are commonly misunderstood.
- Rope Access level 3 technicians (aka Rope Access Supervisors) are not competent to select, install and test anchor points if their qualification is only that of a level 3 Rope Access technician.
- Persons that have received training, even from the manufacturers, for the installation of anchor bolts, chemical anchors or expansion anchors are not competent to select, install and test anchor points for fall protection.
- Registration with the SACPCMP as a Construction Health and Safety Officers does not confer competence to select install and test anchor points.
- ECSA registered Lifting Machinery Inspectors (LMI) are not competent to select install and test anchor points.
Annual Testing of Anchors
All Rope access / Fall arrest anchor bolts should be subjected to a load test to verify correct installation. Load testing must be done at the prescribed minimum load and in the direction of the applied force.
In many cases anchors are merely tested for resistance to axial loading i.e. what is known as “pull-out” tests but ignoring the reality of bending moments and shear forces.