21 Jan Anchor Points vs. Horizontal Lifelines: What is ideal?
Anchor points and horizontal lifelines are part of Personal Fall Arrest Systems which means that when you use them, a fall must occur. Handrail like EnduRail is the safest solution when installed and do not allow your employee to fall in the first place.
However, let’s assume you’ve considered rails already and have determined that they are infeasible. How do you decide between an anchor point and a horizontal lifeline?
Anchor points and horizontal lifelines are two ways to achieve the same purpose: protecting your employees from a fall. Each method has its pros and cons, as well as appropriate and inappropriate times for use. Even with professionally installed and used systems, injuries could still occur. In order to determine which will be best for you, you need to fully understand situation. Ask yourself questions such as,
How Many People Are on The System?
The number of people working at heights is going to be the easiest way to determine which system is to be used. Typically, an anchor point is going to be able to support fewer people (most often, one). However, to protect an entire crew, you would need to install multiple anchor points. Each employee is bound to their one work location. If multiple employees are working, they will most likely need to move around to help co-workers, bring supplies, or just move on to the next section of work. Your best solution in this case is a horizontal lifeline that would allow much more freedom of movement while still protecting employees.
Where Do They Have to Work?
If your employees need to reach every corner of a surface, installing enough anchor points to achieve this can be a challenge. With may anchor points, you will notice some space is remain unreachable. Also, permanent anchor points may not allow you the advantage of relocation. Most likely, if you have a crew of people working instead of just one or two employees, you will want to consider a horizontal lifeline. With the same roof, total coverage could be achieved by running a horizontal lifeline around the perimeter of the roof or straight across the middle. A horizontal lifeline would require multiple anchor points as well, but once in place, your workers could travel the entire length of the roof and reach, and work flexibility is better.
What About Cost and Installation?
Also, you may find that properly setting up a mobile anchor point is much simpler than setting up a horizontal lifeline. You may find anchor points economic than the other. Either way, you still need to work on which one is good solutions against budget and ease of use and protection considered.
With a little thought and effort, you are probably able to figure out which is right for you – anchor or lifeline, permanent or temporary. Either way, you can keep your workers safe but operational ease matters during your selection of option!
Standards to follow at time of selection: BS EN 795 Class C