Roof safety hooks
Roof safety hooks can anchor personal protective equipment.
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Where working at a height is unavoidable, it is necessary to use some form of fall protection system to prevent or arrest any possible fall.
An individual fall protection system may utilise items of personal protective equipment (PPE) and typically consists of a harness, an anchor point and a series of interconnecting components such as lanyards and connectors. The overall system can be likened to the links of a chain, in which the ultimate breaking strength depends on the weakest link. It is therefore important to test all elements of a fall protection system, including the anchor point.
Roof posts for inclined roof surfaces are often tested against the requirements of EN 795:2012 – ‘Personal fall protection equipment. Anchor devices’ (Class A), the European standard for PPE anchor devices. However, a second European standard (EN 517:2006 – ‘Prefabricated accessories for roofing. Roof safety hooks’) exists for roof hooks that are intended for the attachment of roofing ladders or supporting work platforms, but that may also have a facility as anchorages for personal protective equipment against falls. EN 517:2006 classifies roof hooks as either Type A or Type B, depending on the direction in which any force may be applied.
EN 517:2006 includes requirements for:
- general design and dimensions
- deflection under a static load
- corrosion resistance
- static strength (at least 10kN force to be withstood without failure)
- fatigue (or dynamic) strength of any PPE attachment point (anchor to arrest the fall of a 100kg mass after 2.5m of free fall when connected to the anchor with a 2m length nylon lanyard).
The minimum static strength requirement in EN 517:2006 is 10kN, which compares with 15kN for the harness and certain lanyard types. It is therefore important for users to be aware of the performance of specific types of anchor point to determine the overall strength of the system.
It is interesting to note that there has been confusion about roof posts under EN 795:2012 (Class A) concerning whether or not they should be considered as falling within the scope of European Council Directive 89/686/EEC on PPE and there is no presumption of conformity given by EN 795:2012 for these classes of anchor. Work is now ongoing to develop a standard for these permanent anchor devices, which should be published as EN 17235 under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) – (EU) 305/2011.
On the other hand, EN 517:2006 has been published with an Annex ZA linking it to the now repealed European Construction Products Directive 89/106/EEC, although there is an assumption that this now links to the CPR. The Annex suggests Attestation of Conformity (AoC) system 3 is followed for EN 517:2006 roof hooks. The AoC system details what procedures should be carried out on the product before it can be placed on the European market.
AoC System 3 requires the manufacturers to have a factory production control system, the product must be subject to initial type-testing by a Notified Body such as SATRA and, finally, the manufacturer must complete a declaration of conformity.
A similar situation exists with EN 516:2006 – ‘Prefabricated accessories for roofing. Installations for roof access. Walkways, treads and steps’, where Class 2 devices incorporate PPE anchor points, and EN 516:2006 has an Annex ZA to the CPD.
Further information on SATRA's PPE certification and testing services is available at www.satra.com/ppe
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