Anchor points

What are anchor points?

Anchor points are anchor devices, generally eyebolts, specifically positioned to provide safety during work at height. They are therefore intended to support the impact generated by the fall arrest.

Anchorages are classified according to whether they support, enclose or are secured to the structure

¿What are anchor points used for?

Anchorages are intended to provide a specific safety hook-up point in situations in which there is a fall hazard.

Anchor points are also used for suspension work. In this case, the loads are different than those generated by the fall arrest impact.

In contrast to lifelines, which permit movement in parallel to their length, anchorages are not suitable for movements of this type, unless other PPE items are employed, such as retractable fall arresters, in order to move vertically.

Standards and regulations

Anchorage points are regulated in EN 795 on anchor devices, the same standard that regulated horizontal lifelines.

There have been a number of amendments to this standard since it was enacted in 1996. The latest amendment was in 2012

Classes

The standard distinguishes a number of classes (EN 795: 1996) and types (EN 795:2012):

  • Class A "Fixed anchors"
  • Class B "movable anchors”
  • Class E, “deadweight anchors”
The changes introduced by EN 795:2012.

The latest update to EN 795:2012 excluded from its contents:

  • Systems that are tested for more than one user. Devices intended for use by more than one person simultaneously shall be subject to technical standard TS 16415:2013.
  • Anchorages that are fixed to the structural parts of the building. The standard shall only include anchors that can be removed for inspection.
EN 795:2012 and anchor devices

Is the Standard mandatory?

Before the update in 2012, the EN 795 standard was already difficult to apply, as some of its sections were mandatory while others were not. Now, with the changes introduced in 2012, the matter has become even more complicated.

The fact that anchor devices must be removable and for a single user, makes everything much more complicated.

Therefore, within the jumble of sections referring to anchor devices A, B and E, only sections B and E are mandatory, while other sections, such as A, are not a harmonised standard. This being so, we do not understand why these were included in the standard.

Fixed anchor devices, EN 795-A

Amongst all the classes for this type of product, fixed anchor devices are normally those that offer the greatest guarantee of resistance.

This is because the anchors are generally fixed to the structural parts of the building.

Moreover, such anchors are installed using mechanical, chemical, or welded fixtures, which offer a good guarantee of resistance to the load generated by the impact.

On the other hand, the first version of standard EN 795 in 1996 differentiated between class A1 and class A2 fixed anchor devices. Class A2 are specifically designed for sloping roofs, and do not necessarily have to be eyebolts.

The number of users attached to the anchor point

Although against the provisions of the 2012 version, many anchor devices allow more than one user to be attached simultaneously.

The limit is generally 2 users per anchor point.

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This is not so much due to the load that could be generated by the combined fall of more users, but because:

  • There is insufficient room for more PPE on the anchor point.
  • The inconvenience involved in having more than 1 person attached to the same anchor point.

Is EN 795-A mandatory?

Section A is excluded from the contents of this standard and it is not mandatory.

And this is because, as already mentioned above, anchor devices that are fixed to the structure and cannot be removed for inspection are excluded from the contents of the EN 795 standard.

Read more

After reading the standard, we have come to the conclusion that it is full of contradictions. There is no sense in classifying anchor devices as type A, because it goes against the nature of this section.

In any case, if you're interested in learning more about this subject, click on the link below to read an article which we consider to be of interest.

More information

The importance of the direction of fall on fixed anchor points

Before mounting a fixed anchor point, the direction of fall should be taken into account.

The type of anchor point is determined by whether the fall to be arrested could occur in a single direction, two directions, or in all possible directions.

It is important to decide on this, because each type of anchor point has a different performance.

Some anchor points can withstand falls in a single direction (uni-directional), or in two directions (bi-directional) or in all possible directions (multi-directional).

Transportable anchor devices, EN 795-B

This section of the standard includes the largest number of types of anchor devices, ranging from synthetic rope anchors to anchor devices designed for work in confined spaces, tripods and davit arms, even including devices intended to be part of temporarily-installed lifelines.

Webbing anchor devices

Tripods and Davit arms

Anchor devices with mobile pulleys

Photo of a removable anchor point

punto-de-anclaje-textil

These are extremely useful when a temporary anchor point is required

During installation, particular care should be taken to ensure that it does not come into contact with sharp edges.

puntos-de-anclaje-trasnportable-brazo-davit-elytra

Yes, these devices are also certified as transportable anchor devices.

Given the importance of these devices, we have created a separate section to talk about them, click here to view.

Anchor devices designed to move along IPN or HEB type beams are normally certified as EN 795-B

They are also normally certified as rigid lines, EN 795-D.

puntos de anclaje fijos elytra

Anchor devices of this type are installed in environments in which aesthetics is important. A hole is made in the wall and the anchor is subsequently inserted. Once the work has been completed, the anchor is removed.

Regulations in the case of EN 795-B: mandatory

The standard is mandatory for transportable anchor devices. This is because:

  • The anchors are considered to be PPE because they can be removed for inspection.
  • They are for use by a single user. If tested for use by more than one person, in addition to EN 795, they will need to be certified according to the provisions of TS 16415:2013.
puntos de anclaje elytra

Deadweight anchor devices, EN 795-E

These devices are installed when an anchor is required and there is no structural element to support it. These are rare cases in which very few anchorage solutions are viable.

To mount deadweight anchor devices, a flat surface is required with a pitch of not more than 5º. This is due to the need to contemplate a displacement generated by the fall, which increases with the pitch.

This type of anchor device is rarely used.

Standards and regulations

This is, together with section B, a mandatory standard at a community level.