Proprietary System, or Permanent Anchors?
Product Safety Recall
DBI-SALA Lad-Saf™ Sleeve
TAKE CARE- MISLEADING INFORMATION IN THE MARKETPLACE.
PBI Height Safety 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. PBI is the trained and certified specifier and installer of international brands including; Capital Safety DBI/Sala, Roofsafe, Unirail, Evolution, Ariana, Rigid Lifelines, Skylotec, Skytac and Highstep. Capital Safety is the largest height safety company globally. As required by the manufacturers, PBI is the certified company both for installaton & annual recertification of these systems nationwide. PBI 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 mis-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 (eg hanging) on a rope to access fascades, 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 ropeline 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 PBI Fall Arrest/Fall Restraint lines can be used with total compliance for 'Fall Retraint' 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. PBI will advise which options are best for your application and work activities.
- How do I know if my structures needs a Fall Arrest system or full Abseil anchorage? It depends on the application and activities that are required to be done on the structure. PBI will always determine during the consultancy process if abseil is required. Unless workers must hang freely on ropes in total suspension or due to the steep slope of the roof and are placing their full body weight onto the line system (work positioning), there is no legal requirement for Abseil rated anchors or rail/track systems on every structure. Proprietary Fall Arrest systems are perfectly adequate and of course are a more cost effective height safety solution for the typical maintenance activities undertaken (such as gutter cleaning, plant maintenance) on many building and structures in NZ.
- Can I Abseil from one anchor point? No. Abseil requires a second rope attached to a separate rated anchor point as a safety backup. This applies to any anchor point on any structure, not just PBI installed anchors.
- Is there better ways I can spend my money than replacing my totally compliant PBI safety installation with another structurally fitted cumbersome system that is also disruptive to install? Absolutely. Tell the company that has illegally disqualified your PBI safety line system to leave your property, and then book yourself a relaxing holiday somewhere exotic. This will cost you a lot less than the cost of replacing out your totally compliant PBI system.
To quote from 'Best Practice Guidelines for Working at Height in New Zealand' page 25;
Australia/New Zealand Standards that apply are:
- AS/NZ1891.2:2001 – Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices – Part 2 Horizontal lifeline and rail systems
- AS/NZ1891.2 Supp 1:2001 – Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices – Part 2 Horizontal lifeline and rail systems, Supplement 1 Prescribed configurations for horizontal lifelines (Supplement to AS/NZS 1891.2:2001)
- AS/NZ1891.4:2009 – Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices – Part 4: Selection, use and maintenance
- AS/NZ4488.1:1997 – Industrial rope access systems – Part 1: Specifications
- AS/NZ4488.2:1997 – Industrial rope access systems – Part 2: Selection, use and maintenance.
A prescribed system is a lifeline that is designed and installed in accordance with AS/NZS 1891.2 Supp 1:2001. The end anchor loadings on these systems may reach up to 63.3 kN.
A proprietary system is a lifeline that is designed and installed in accordance with a manufacturer’s specification and engineered to withstand the required forces. These systems usually include shock-absorbing components that reduce the end anchor loadings of the lifeline. Some proprietary systems are installed with top-fixed anchors that depend partly on the strength of the roof sheeting.
Refer to AS/NZ 1891 parts 1–4 and the manufacturer/designer instructions and/or specifications.
An engineered system is a lifeline that is designed and installed by a qualified structural engineer. These are not as common as proprietary systems but will accommodate most fall arrest systems.
To quote from 'Industrial Rope Access in New Zealand: Best Practice Guidelines' pages 26 & 27
Horizontal lifelines function differently to single anchor points as the end anchors on the lifeline are subjected to magnified shock loads in the event of a fall. Lifelines are not rated for abseiling. Their function is limited to providing fall arrest support when working at height such as protection while accessing abseil anchor points around a roof.
All horizontal and vertical lifelines should be tagged and re-certified annually to remain compliant with AS/NZS 1891.4:2009. At installation, installers should provide evidence of their certified installer status and supply a Producer Statement (PS3) to the building owner to verify that the lifeline system has been installed correctly.
Most horizontal (or vertical) lifelines will fall into one of the following categories:
- prescribed systems
- proprietary systems
- engineered systems.
A prescribed system is a lifeline that is designed and installed in accordance with AS/NZS 1891.2 Supp 1:2001. The end anchor loadings on these systems may reach up to 63.3kN.
A proprietary system is a lifeline that is designed and installed in accordance with a manufacturer’s specification. These systems usually include shock-absorbing components that reduce the end anchor loadings of the lifeline. However, all the anchors that support proprietary lifelines are still subject to the same design, installation, certification and testing criteria as stated in this section. Therefore, all anchors that support proprietary lifelines must be designed by a chartered professional engineer (CPEng).
An engineered system is a lifeline that is designed and installed under the direction of a qualified structural engineer. These are not as common as proprietary systems but will accommodate most fall arrest situations.
We are currently in the porcess of adding products to this category. Please check back again soon.