SAR Tech Tips: Anchor Compliance

Anchor testing and compliance: some things to consider…

Anchor testing

Installed fall protection anchors are a common feature in many workplaces today but many people don’t fully understand the requirements of ongoing anchor maintenance and compliance testing.

Fall protection or work in suspension (rope access) anchors must meet a minimum 15kN (or ‘Kilonewton’, approximately 1,500kg) strength rating for single person use, or 21kN (~ 2,100kg) for a two-person load. How does one determine this?

Friction (or ‘expansion’) and adhesive (or ‘glued in’) anchors need to be proof loaded mechanically to verify their working strength. The test, carried out by a competent technician, involves using a device that loads the anchor axially (applying a pulling force directly out of the substrate). The test load varies from between 6kN to 7.5kN. The theory is that if the anchor and substrate can withstand this direct outward force then it will certainly be able to withstand a load of 15kN in shear (sideways loading – the correct direction of anchor loading).

Rather than testing the anchor attachment point itself, anchor point testing is generally aimed at testing the integrity of the substrate (either rock or concrete) and the adhesive, where applicable. Regular anchor compliance testing should be carried out every 12 months. Anchors should also be tested if the the anchor has sustained a significant fall loading or if there is any doubt as to the integrity of the anchor or substrate.

Anchors in timber or metal (e.g. in a roof surface) do not typically undergo mechanical testing; they will instead be subject to a visual inspection and/or servicing.

SAR can supply highly competent technicians & appropriate calibrated test rigs to ensure your anchors are safe and compliant. All anchor testing is backed up by a comprehensive report.

Contact us today for more information or a quotation on this service.

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