Equipment Notes: Roof Anchors

Fall Protection & Mobile Anchor Points

by Jeremy Martin, midwest territory sales manager, Roofmaster









In past years, there was little choice of fall protection you could use because of the lack of variety available. Manufacturers have made great strides in the development of such fall protection for almost every situation, where there is a solution. Roof anchors are a perfect example. Temporary anchor points, also known as mobile anchor points, are a great concept, with many OSHA-compliant varieties now on the market. They range from ballasted systems, which are usually non-roof penetrating, to devices which utilize a claw mechanism that when activated by a falling worker, penetrates the roof to arrest a fall. There are single, dual-man, and multi-man systems available. As there are a variety of these different mobile anchor points available, let’s take a look at a couple different roof types and the temporary options you have.


Commercial Roofs

Commercial roofs have always been a challenge. Part of this challenge is that maintenance workers may visit a roof for short periods of time, disregarding fall protection altogether with the idea that the job will be finished in less time than it takes to worry about fall hazards. If the building owner has not installed a permanent rail system or permanent roof anchors, many wonder what options remain. Mobile anchor devices, either ballasted or mechanized, can be brought to the roof for temporary anchorage usage.

These systems are ideal for temporary workers on the roof for short periods of time, as well as those contractors who may be doing work for prolonged periods of time. Both employees and contractors may have the ability to directly attach to these systems immediately after accessing the roof, and remained tied off as they move about the surface, creating the ability to safely perform the job at hand.


Residential Roofs

Residential roofs have always been a challenge, and OSHA is now set to hold residential contractors to the same standard as commercial contractors, as fall protection equipment for residential construction is widely available. Residential roof anchors are designed to attach directly to the wood frame or directly to the wood roof. Residential roof anchors are typically inexpensive, quick to install, and commonly found in a complete fall kit including a harness and lifelines.

Roof anchors are as diverse as there are types of roofs, including temporary and permanent anchors, single and double D-ring anchors, tile roof anchors, hitch clip anchors, and more. For more information on all varieties and options, contact your local Roofmaster® representative.