National technical approval ("abZ") - commonly referred to as "DIBt approval" - is required by the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (German Institute for Construction Technology) for all anchorage devices and fall arrest systems designed for permanent installation on a building structure. According to the DIBt, such devices are considered to be part of the building. This applies to anchorage points for individuals as well as lifeline systems and rail safety systems. To date, however, roof safety hooks have been excluded from this regulation. The approval is intended to guarantee that the device is reliably connected to the subsurface on which it is installed. In as far as an anchorage device has not generally been awarded national technical approval, it may only be installed when individual consent has been provided. An application to this effect must be submitted to the responsible building authority.
Meanwhile, a large selection of approved anchorage devices is available. This applies to anchorage devices for individuals (anchors) as well as traversable lifeline systems. The Ü symbol (abbreviation for "Übereinstimmungszeichen" = mark of conformity) shows that a fall arrest system has been approved and must be included on the product. This symbol confirms that the installed anchorage device - or device to be installed - conforms with that approved by the DIBt - i.e. that all parts are constructed in an identical manner using the same materials.
As a rule, each manufacturer is awarded an approval in which all the approved products are listed. The respective installation method, which has been tested and approved, is also documented in this approval. Installation must be carried out in accordance with these installation instructions, otherwise the abZ will lose its validity. The approval document must be easily accessible and presented to the building owner. Summarising such an approval - or merely providing an excerpt - is strictly prohibited. For greater transparency, some companies also put their abZ on their website.