General terms

Anchorage device

An anchorage device (AD) is a system which was specially designed to protect individuals from falling and consists of at least one anchorage point. Anchorage devices are often permanently connected to a building (e.g. flat roof, pitched roof, facade etc.) or to a respective substructure (e.g. machine, crane way, wind energy turbine etc.). Anchorage devices can be combined with personal fall protection equipment (PPE) to provide users with a reliable fall arrest system. An anchorage device is either designed as a preventative retention measure to prevent a fall from occurring or as an arresting system.

Two basic types of anchorage device

As described in DGUV Publication 201-056: "Basic planning guidelines for anchorage devices on roofs", an anchorage system can also comprise several anchorage points. This publication distinguishes between two types of anchor system:

  • “Fixed anchorage points”, i.e. individual anchorage points equipped with only one single anchorage eyelet.
  • “Mobile anchorage points in the shape of gliders which are attached to a cable or rail”, i.e. lifeline and rail safety systems. These gliders are equipped with an anchorage eyelet and glide freely over individual stretches - or along the whole length - of the anchorage system.

Anchorage devices in accordance with EN 795

EN 795 differentiates between five basic types of anchorage device.

  • Type A: Single anchorage points which are firmly anchored to the subsurface
  • Type B: Temporary anchorage points that can be removed again after usage without leaving any traces
  • Type C: Lifeline systems
  • Type D: Rail safety systems
  • Type E: Anchorage devices that are held in place by their own weight.

However, Implementing Decision 2015/2181 of the EU Commission has now changed the scope of application for parts of the EN 795 standard. It stipulates that only types B and E are mobile anchors and, thus, fall within the scope of PPE Directive 89/686/EEC.

You can find further information on this topic in our articles on EN 795 and national technical approval.

An anchorage device or an alternative anchorage option for hooking up your fall protection PPE?

In addition to technical anchorage device solutions, so-called anchorage options can also be used to set up a fall protection system. These include, for example, load-bearing pipes, posts or girders that can be used temporarily to attach PPE equipment. In this case, it is important to assess the load-bearing capacity of any structure intended to secure a user on a temporary basis.

Connecting up correctly

In order to be able to enter a danger zone safely, the user has to connect his/her personal fall protection equipment up to the anchorage device. To do this, he/she needs a suitable connector and, of course, a safety harness. Depending on the situation, a guided type fall arrester or self-retracting lifeline licensed for horizontal usage may also be used.
To be able to connect up correctly, the following applies: You should always have an energy absorber to hand.

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