21st April 2021

Anchor Systems for Non-Certified Anchors

Setting a good anchor is the most important part of any rope access or fall protection system. There are many ways to make an anchor and here’s a few of the ways that I like to take out into the field, along with the most common gear to make these systems. Most of my time at height is spent using non-certified anchors on structural I beams doing a variety of things from installing banners, motors, blackout curtains or applying a fresh coat of paint. Accessing these areas can be tricky and certainly takes a certain skill and aptitude along with the proper training, equipment and supervision.

A few words about rigging humans. They can be somewhat unpredictable. They like to move. They’re going to have to stretch and push and bend at unexpected times. Pay close attention to compatibility and keep a conversation running about the gear and the challenges encountered throughout the day. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Things to keep in mind


Here’s what anchors SHALL do:

REGULATION: OSHA 1910 Subpart D 1910.27 (b) (1)
5,000 lbf. (22.2kN) In any direction for each employee attached

Here’s what anchors SHOULD do:

STANDARD: SPRAT Safe Practices for Rope Access Work
2,698 lbf. (12kN) or 2x the maximum arrest force of backup device

STANDARD: ANSI Z359.2 Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program
No less than 5,000 lbf. (22.2kN)

OSHA/ANSI supersedes in this situation so let’s go with 5,000 lbf. These are the minimum performance requirements meaning this is what they HAVE to do. If you can make it better, why not?

Preferred Equipment Characteristics for Rigging: Steel, ANSI stamp, good abrasion resistance and flexible.

Strength: Is this anchor unquestionably strong? Is it structural? How will it react to a shock load?
Location: Is it located directly overhead? How will location affect angles and loads on the system? What is the fall path? Is the rigging in a safe zone?
Compatability: Is it possible to side load any connectors? Is the system flexible and accommodates the range of direction of pull? How will connectors and anchorage connectors react together during a shock load? What happens with repeated loading and unloading of the system? Is the rigging clean?

Gear/Equipment


There’s a few regulars I keep in my cache of gear and that usually make most trips. I typically try to use ANSI certified products as much as possible but it doesn’t always happen. ANSI is the most widely recognized certifying body in North America.

Anchorage Connectors:

  • ClimbTech Bantam Beam Slider
  • ClimbTech Vertical/Fixed Beam Clamp
  • ClimbTech Wire Rope Sling
  • Bluewater Rhino Dual Layered Sling
  • Yates Armor Tech Rope Sling (Technora)
  • Petzl Grillon 3M

Rigging Plates:

  • Kong Rally
  • Petzl Paw M

Connectors:

  • Petzl Vulcan
  • Petzl Oxan

Ropes:

  • Sterling HTP 7/16″
  • Sterling WorkPro 7/16”
  • Sterling Tech 11 11mm
  • Knots: Figure 8, Figure 9, Alpine Butterfly, Barrel on a bight

Descenders:

  • Petzl I’d S

Link to Trevor’s Website:

Rope Technologies

Rope Technologies Facebook

 

Rope Technologies

Also by Trevor:

Rigging Safety: Your Life is in Your Hands

Working At Height: What’s In Your Rigging Kit?

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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Trevor started a career in rigging after completing an internship with Cirque du Soleil. He was hired as an on-call Rigger at "Viva Elvis". After a year as an on-call, he was hired to tour with "Corteo" on the European leg of the tour. As a young rigger, for Trevor, this show was like going to university. It was full of professional and personal challenges that became some of the most influential moments of his life. In 2012, Trevor was hired to do the creation of Michael Jackson "ONE" in Vegas. Currently, Trevor spends his time bouncing back and forth between rope access projects on stadiums, bridges and wind turbines and work-at-height training. He owns a company called Rope Technologies based out of Las Vegas and they teach riggers how to work-at-height safely. Trevor's goals are to push the overall safety of work-at-height industries with a specific focus on theatrical safety. Trevor is married Noemie Dube-Dupuis and has 3 kids, Lola, Theo and Mila. They reside in Las Vegas. Qualifications: SPRAT 3/Trainer IRATA 3 ANSI Z359.2 Competent Rescuer/Trainer First-Aid, CPR, AED OSHA 30 ASNT Visual Testing I & II Key Projects: Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis”- Rigger Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo”- Rigger Cirque du Soleil “Michael Jackson ONE” Creation Team- Rigger

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