Plummeting from a scaffold can inflict disabling or fatal injuries, so if you work in the construction industry, you are probably familiar with the safety gear that can keep you in place in a high location, like a fall safety anchor. However, some anchors may not secure you if they have defects.
According to Construction Executive, a fall safety anchor is important because it is your first line of defense, linking you to the structure you perform your work on. Here is a look at the kinds of defects and problems that might make an anchor less likely to protect you from a fall.
Using the correct anchor
Safety anchors vary according to shape in size, so you cannot use just any anchor. Some safety anchors are just metal clips and are not feasible for a tall height. You may need a stronger anchor with additional safety features. Some workers use sliding beam anchors and wall anchors. They can also use swivel hooks when the job requires them to move about while working.
Fall safety anchors may be dependable on the first use and for multiple jobs afterward. The problem is that metal is the primary component of these anchors, and metal can rust over time. It is important to maintain anchors in an environment where they will not rust, like a low humidity storage location. Workers should also check anchors for rust before using them.
In addition to rust, fall safety anchors can degrade in quality over time. Sometimes they suffer corrosion. The stress put on an anchor can also weaken it. You might notice cracks that indicate stress damage. However, it is possible for an anchor to have damage that is not easily visible, so your workplace should have procedures in place to inspect or replace anchors.
Maintaining strong anchors is just one part of keeping safe in a high environment. Other safety gear like safety harnesses, connectors and lifelines must be in good shape to prevent the worst from happening at a construction site.