What is meant by “equipment classes” in connection with the planning of anchorage systems is the different fall protection measures that can be installed – specifically on a roof surface. The definition of these equipment classes is derived from DGUV Publication 201-056.
When planning protective measures on a roof surface, the question that crops up is which type of protection should be used - and how. When answering this question, it is important to note that collective protection should always take precedence over individual protection (pls. refer to the Federal Act on the Implementation of Measures of Occupational Safety and Health - ArbSchG). Just as important are the “Principles of Prevention” (pls. refer to DGUV Regulation 1).
The German statutory accident insurance association (DGUV) distinguishes between four different equipment classes.
Workplaces and accesses which are designed in accordance with the currently applicable building regulations for public spaces. Other regulations may also apply, for example, for escape routes.
Equipment class 4 allows private individuals to access the roof surface/areas.
The falling edges at the workplace and the respective accesses are secured by collective protection measures. A guardrail or side protection may be used in such situations.
Equipment class 3 allows untrained personnel to access the roof surface/respective area. No special instruction is required. In such cases, access to the roof area must be considered separately.
The falling edges at the workplace and the respective accesses are secured by traversable horizontal anchorage systems. A lifeline or rail safety system may be used in such situations.
Equipment class 2 allows only those specialists to access the roof area who have received special instruction. Lifeline and rail safety systems allow users to work using a retention system that prevents falls. Equipment class 2 devices can be supplemented at exposed points by single anchorage points
The falling edges at the workplace and the respective accesses are secured by single anchorage points. In such situations, the single anchorage points must be positioned at a specific distance from each other and from the falling edge in order to secure the whole roof surface.
Equipment class 1 allows only those specialists to access the roof area who have received special instruction. Single anchorage points only provide a retention solution at specific points. If the user is working along a falling edge, he/she is not using a preventive system. This means that a fall is possible. Correctly used PPE limits the impact of a fall on the body, whilst the anchorage point absorbs the energy thus released. However, even if the PPE is used correctly, the possibility of injury cannot be totally ruled out. The fall victim must be rescued from his/her safety harness as quickly as possible.
Temporary lifeline systems are assigned to equipment class 1. When used correctly, these increase the user’s safety despite not being part of the building structure.
The selection of the appropriate equipment class is based on which persons will be accessing the roof surface/respective area and how frequently they will need to do so.