General terms

Anchorage option

To explain how it differs from a technical anchorage device , the term anchorage option is used to describe a load-bearing substructure which is suitable for temporarily attaching personal fall protection equipment (PPE). DGUV Rule 112-198 “The use of personal fall protection equipment”  states literally that “an anchorage option is a point to which a personal fall arrest system can be attached to a component of a structural installation on a temporary basis”. The examples quoted include girders and pipes as well as concrete and wooden beams. For roof work, the latter are often equipped with a tape sling to which workers can attach their PPE. To use load-bearing pipes, connectors  with specially-designed pipe hooks are available. Thanks to their larger openings, these can often be attached directly to a pipe. As a result, they are often used in scaffolding work.

Anchorage option requirements

Substructures are regarded as having a sufficient load-bearing capacity for one individual - and can be used to temporarily attach a fall arrest system - if these can withstand a load of 6 kN distributed through them. This is the maximum value to which a (lanyard) energy absorber component of a personal protective equipment kit can reduce the force ensuing from a fall. For each further individual, an additional 1 kN must be calculated. According to the employers’ liability insurance associations, the following basic rule of thumb applies: An anchorage point must be capable of bearing a weight of 1 t. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that the attached anchorage device (such as a tape sling) does not become unattached from the substructure and that it cannot slip off. For this reason, a pipe or girder is unsuitable if the end is open. According to DGUV Rule 112-198, any eyelets already installed on the substructure may only be used to attach PPE, if these anchorage eyelets have already been tested for securing individuals from falls.

Anchorage connector elements

In order to be able to secure workers from falls using a specific substructure, additional anchorage connector elements - which may not necessarily be part of your existing PPE kit - are frequently required. Many common connectors, for example, do not automatically come with large-size carabiner hooks. Some additional connector elements that may be needed include:

  • Tape slings / straps for girders and beams
  • (Carabiner) hooks with large jaws for pipes and similar
  • Pipe hooks

Which connector element is the right choice depends on the design of your structure and type of work to be carried out. In individual cases, it may be necessary to carry out a risk assessment to determine whether the existing structure is suitable for using personal fall protection equipment.