Industry News

TAKE CARE- MISLEADING INFORMATION IN THE MARKETPLACE.

Total Height Safety (THS) specifies and installs engineered safety systems and anchors that are fully compliant with AS/NZS 1891:2:2007, AS/NZS 1891.4:2009, new anchor standard AS/NZS 5532:2013 and AS/NZS4488.1:1997, and as outlined in 'Best Practice Guidelines for Working at Height in New Zealand’ and ‘Industrial Rope Access in New Zealand: Best Practice Guidelines'.

It is important to understand the difference between the work at height techniques and how these relate to the type of work required on a structure, and therefore relate back to the type of installed system required. Techniques/ applications include; 'Fall Arrest', 'Fall Restraint' and 'Industrial Rope Access (Abseil)'.

We understand the height safety industry with its specific requirements relating to structure, engineering, and installation. THS is the trained and certified installer of SafetyLink and Honeywell products. SafetyLink and Honeywell are global companies. As required by the manufacturers, THS is certified both for installation & annual recertification of these systems nationwide. THS specifies and installs both Permanent Anchors and Proprietary Systems, working closely with the client to provide the total height safety solution to satisfy the needs and activities of workers on each building or structure, and meeting New Zealand compliance guidelines and Worksafe requirements.

Recently, some other players in the market are confusing the 'Best Practice' guidelines and by miss-quoting these guidelines and AS/NZS 1891 Standards, have suggested that surface mounted anchors which are an inclusive as part of a Prescribed or Proprietary System, do not comply with safety standards. This is incorrect, and is a clever fallacy- merely a way to further those companies' own best interests of increasing sales of their structurally mounted anchors.

What is an Anchor Point? A Permanent Anchor is a single fixed anchor point, which can be used as a Fall Arrest or Abseil anchorage, and has been designed, engineered, and installed for this purpose as per AS/NZS 1891:4 and AS/NZS 5532:2013 Anchor points may be surface or structurally mounted but must be engineered to AS/NZS 1891:4 & AS/NZS 5532:2013 as outlined below. Note; Abseil requires a second anchor attachment point for a back-up safety rope.

What is a Proprietary System? A Proprietary System designed and engineered by the manufacturer in accordance with AS/NZS 1891:2 and is specified for use as a Fall Arrest/Fall Restraint system, giving freedom of movement to the worker along its length (either horizontal or vertical mounted) However, as an enhanced option, some Proprietary Systems are also engineered to include Abseil anchorage standards where this is appropriate. The Proprietary System may or may not be surface mounted, but must be engineered to AS/NZS 1891:2 as outlined below. A Proprietary System for Fall Arrest as outlined in AS/NZS 1891:2 has no legal requirement to be both a Fall Arrest system and an Abseil attachment point.

Do I need Abseil rated line systems and anchors? An Abseil rated track or rail (surface mounted or otherwise) is only required for the actual purpose of abseil/rope access, where the worker is suspended vertically (e.g. hanging) on a rope to access facades, windows etc. However, all individual anchor points are rated for both fall arrest and abseil.

Do I need abseil anchorage system for working on roofs? No. Working on top of a roof using a 2m lanyard or adjustable rope line which is attached to a Proprietary Fall Arrest System, does not constitute Abseil. The correct term for these applications is 'Fall Arrest ' and 'Fall Restraint' technique: all THS Fall Arrest/Fall Restraint lines can be used with total compliance for 'Fall Restraint' and 'Fall Arrest'.

Do Anchors have to be structurally mounted? No. There is a wide range of anchors available, some which are certified for surface fixing and some that are only for structural mounting. Various factors will determine which anchor type is best, including cladding/roofing material, structure, environment, activities undertaken, time/access constraints, waterproofing requirements, and aesthetics, with all anchor types meeting AS/NZS 1891.4 and AS/NZS 5532:2013. THS will advise which options are best for your application and work activities.

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