What is the best fall restraint anchor system solution?
Article 346 of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety states that “the wearing of a safety harness is mandatory for all workers exposed to falls of over 3 m from their work stations, except if a worker is protected by some other device that ensures equivalent safety or by a safety net, or when he is only using some means of access or egress.”
As a general rule, anchors offer a secure point of attachment point for a worker’s fall arrest system. Anchors can be installed either permanently or temporarily, depending on the situation. Anchors and the fall arrest system must provide the worker with the ability to move safely and comfortably while working at height. According to the Quebec’s Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (CNESST), nearly 700 falls from heights occur each year on Quebec construction sites.
Prevention of falls from height
The first step in preventing falls from rooftops is to install a travel restraint system, which prevents the worker from reaching a location from which he or she could fall thanks to a harness attached to an anchor system by a fall protection device, such as a lanyard, a self-retracting lifeline or another type of connector.
Next, a fall prevention system comprised of anchors, connectors, a body harness and a rescue plan in the event of a fall must be established. Of course, the equipment required will be dictated by the safety anchorage to which it is affixed!
Choice of anchors system
To ensure worker safety, it is crucial to choose a fall protection system that meets lifeline design standards as well as use requirements. As such, the choice of anchors depends on the nature of work to be performed and the degree of mobility required to do it. The type of the attached connecting subsystem used also plays a role. It goes without saying that the anchors and connectors must be approved by government authorities for the intended application: fall prevention, rescue or work at height.
A better solution?
Engineers from the Montreal-based fall prevention and protection equipment firm, Les Équipements JPB, have developed an effective roof anchor system that meets Quebec building codes and is compatible with all types of modern roofs. These roof anchors offer all the benefits of a traditional fall arrest system while protecting the integrity of roof panels. How? This mechanical system features anchor plates that bolt onto the surface, without touching the structure or beams.
Designed with an integrated energy absorber and calibrated at a predetermined load, this arrest system is much more effective than conventional methods. Compact and inconspicuous, these anchors keep the maximum load transmitted to the roof at 10 kN.
What’s more, roof anchors can be modified to suit the required application. For example, Les Équipements JPB can bolt anchors to a plate welded directly to the roof surface or to a 5/8”-thick steel plate, which is then attached to the surface. Aluminium rivets are also an option to attach anchors to the metal roof cladding. These weather-resistant anchors are equipped with neoprene cushions for protection. Of course, Les Équipements JPB guarantees quick and efficient installation by certified installers.
About the author of this article: Les Équipements JPB
Les Équipements JPB is a Montreal-based firm specializing in fall protection systems for work at height. Focussed on worker safety, Les Équipements JPB works closely with its clients in order to quickly and effectively meet their needs in terms of fall prevention and protection equipment. Les Équipements JPB is led by Mr. Jean-Pierre Blanchet, a graduate of the HEC School of Business/Université de Montréal with a degree in Marketing Management. Since 2000, Mr. Blanchet is a member of the Association québécoise pour l’hygiène, la santé et la sécurité du travail.