In Australia, around 29 people die from fall-related injuries yearly. These stats alone are reason enough for every construction company to prioritise using fall protection systems on their roofs.
There are countless options for height safety at your disposal. Take for instance roof anchor points; there are different types that are designed for specific tasks. This also means, while one roof anchor point works on a certain roof, it can be useless on another. That’s why it’s important for you to pick the correct roof anchor point for your roof. Today we’ll discuss all the factors you must consider to arrive at your decision. The idea is to help you pick the correct roof anchor point.
Type of Roof
First and foremost, consider the type of roof you want to use the roof anchor point on. Is it a commercial or residential roof? Commercial roofs are more complex to work on than their residential counterparts. This is because they require regular maintenance work. Permanent roof anchor points are ideal in this regard.
Residential roofs seldom require workers to work on them for extended periods. If there are any maintenance jobs to be done, chances are that the work will be spaced far apart. It follows that mobile or temporary structures are better in this instance, not to mention cheaper.
Weight of Roof Anchor Point
How many people will be working on the roof at any given time? Answering this question is necessary so you know how much weight the roof anchor point is supposed to withstand.
This way you can pick a structure designed to safely accommodate people working on the roof. You’ll need a qualified engineer to confirm if the structure is indeed strong enough to withstand the weight and force of the workers who are working at height.
How much movement will take place on the roof? If a lot of movement is involved, you may have to use multiple anchor points to protect your workers, which can be costly.
A more feasible option is to use roof anchor points that allow workers to move freely while working on a roof, such as horizontal lifelines. They feature an engineering system which is also ideal if work to be done on the roof is conducted on different locations.
Certain roof anchor points like permanent engineered anchor points restrict your workers’ movement. This is because they need your workers to work in a set radius around the said anchor point.
Installation & Training
Some roof anchor systems feature complex designs. This makes them more difficult to install than others. Along with installation, you’ll need to train your workers extensively regarding how to use them. While all workers need to be trained to use roof anchor points, some systems like horizontal lifelines need more comprehensive training.
Roof anchor point installation and training are important factors to consider as they determine what kind of project you should use the anchor points for. If the structures take time to set up and require your workers to be trained extensively, use them for long term projects or permanent installations.
Always take into account project deadlines so you make realistic and practical decisions regarding the type of roof anchor point you pick.
Work to be Done
What kind of work is being done on the roof? This will determine if you need mobile or permanent roof anchor points.
If you’re conducting a once-off repair job on a roof, then a mobile roof anchor point will suffice. The moment frequent maintenance work is required on the roof, you need to settle for a more permanent structure.
Certain roof anchor points can be customised to match any roofing configuration, depending on the intended project. Do you want a structure designed to eliminate trip hazards on the roof? Pick customisable structures such as lifelines. Just know that installation of such structures will take time.
After all is said and done, you must consider your budget. Certain roof anchor points such as horizontal lifelines are more expensive than others. Ultimately you want to pick the safest roof anchor point for the intended function, at the best possible price.
It’s wise to compare prices from different companies before making your purchase so that you get value for your money.
Choosing the right roof anchor point for a particular roof may have been impossible in the past. Thankfully you have plenty of options to pick from today in order to select the correct product for your intended task.
You simply need to conduct the necessary research regarding the different types of roof anchor points and know which one will work for your roof. Planning ahead is also important so you select a roof anchor point best suited for your project duration.
Don’t forget to provide your workers with the necessary training on how to use fall protection systems. Always remember that protecting your workers is not only a legal issue, but your responsibility and proof of being a good employer!