Single point anchors are designed to be used for personal fall arrest or fall restraint. These anchors are designed to take on large ultimate loads and are crucial in saving a worker’s life in the event of a fall. An anchor point consists of three main sections; opening for the tie-off, the anchor structure and the connection to the structure. Any of these three areas can degrade over time due to excessive wear, extreme weather conditions, changing building elements or misuse. As a result, fall protection standards require that single anchor points are inspected prior to each use to ensure that they are in safe working condition.
As a result, fall protection anchor standards require that all single anchor points and life line systems are inspected by a Competent Person other than the user yearly. Without annual documented Competent Person inspections, single point anchors are considered out of compliance and out of warranty. This means that building owners who do not provide inspected equipment are liable for any failure of such fall protection anchors.
US fall Protection frequently performs on-site fall protection inspections of existing single point anchors. Inspections consist of a thorough review of existing safety procedures, a visual inspection of the single point anchors and a load test on at least 10% of the existing anchors. While a load test is not required by OSHA, we highly recommend that it is performed as it is the only way that building owners and future workers can be guaranteed that they are attaching to safe anchor points.
Annual inspections include all necessary documentation required by OSHA so that they can be stored on site to ensure that the building owner is in compliance.
OSHA 1926.502(d)(21) Personal fall arrest systems shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.
OSHA 1910.66 App C (f) “Inspection.” Personal fall arrest systems shall be inspected prior to each use for mildew, wear, damage and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service if their strength or function may be adversely affected.
Z359.1-2007 6.1.1 Equipment shall be inspected by the user before each use and, additionally, by a competent person other than the user at intervals at no more than one year.
Z359.1-2009 4.6.4 Inspection of Components Not Addressed by a Manufacturer’s Requirements. For components not addressed by a manufacturer’s inspection requirements, the components shall be visually inspected, as a minimum, in a manner and frequency specified by the engineer designing the active fall protection
Z359.6-2009 E4.6.5. If the original design was performed by an engineer, an engineer or a qualified person under the supervision of an engineer can perform the recertification. If the original design was not performed by an engineer, an engineer should be involved in the recertification if this standard is to be used for that process.
Z359.6-2009 4.6.5 Recertification of Active Fall Protection Systems. Active fall protection systems shall be thoroughly reviewed by an engineer at a frequency to be determined by the original design or other similarly qualified engineer but not to exceed five years. This recertification process shall include a review of the original documents prepared for the system and their continued applicability. As a minimum, the following criteria shall also be considered and the result of the certification shall result in a report or set of documents outlined in Section 3.3.1.
- Changes in the hazards and tasks that are addressed by the active fall protection system.
- Changes in regulations, standards or other factors affecting the active fall protection system.
- Feedback from a representative sample of the competent persons and authorized persons of the fall protection system.