Anchorage device (AD)

Worker secured at fall protection anchor ABS-Lock X-Solar during maintenance

An anchorage device (AD) is a system which is specially designed to protect individuals from falling and consists of at least one anchorage point. Anchorage devices are often permanently installed on a building (e.g. flat roof, pitched roof, facade etc.) or connected to a respective substructure (e.g. machine, crane way, wind energy turbine etc.). They offer users a place where they can connect up the lanyards/hoisting ropes included in their personal protective equipment (PPE). They may be designed as a preventative retention system to prevent a fall from occurring or as an arresting system aimed at protecting the user from a fatal impact.

Two basic types of anchorage device

As described in DGUV publication No. 201-056, entitled “Planning principles for anchorage devices on roofs ”, an AD may also be based on several and/or movable anchorage points. This information booklet distinguishes between two types:

  • “Fixed anchorage points”, i.e. anchorage points designed to protect individuals (including single anchorage points) that are only equipped with one single anchorage eyelet.
  • “Movable anchorage points attached to a cable or rail”, i.e. lifeline and rail safety systems. In both cases, the user attaches him/herself to a glider that runs freely along a section or the whole stretch of the respective anchorage system.

Anchorage devices in accordance with EN 795

In regulation EN 795, which is mandatory for the German market, a distinction is made between five different types of anchorage device.

  • Type A: Single anchorage points that are permanently attached to the installation surface
  • Type B: Anchorage points that are (can be) removed again after usage
  • Type C: Lifeline systems
  • Type D: Rail safety systems
  • Type E: Anchorage points that are weighed down using weights (e.g. concrete slabs, gravel etc.)

Permanently installed or temporary usage

In the prevention guidelines likewise published by the DGUV, entitled “Conducting expert inspections for anchorage devices ”, it is also stated that ADs may be permanently fixed to the subsurface but that they may also be installed on a temporary basis, e.g. in the case of deployment for a restricted period of time. Roof safety hooks that are permanently installed on a pitched roof surface are also regarded as anchorage devices in the above guidelines, despite the fact that they are subject to EN 517 and not included in EN 795.

To secure longer stretches and/or larger areas, the guidelines advise against the usage of single anchorage points in order to prevent a fall from resulting in a strong swinging motion. In this case, the recommendation is to install a fall arrest solution parallel to the precipitous edge, such as a lifeline system.

Anchorage device or alternative anchorage option for fall protection PPE?

In the section on technical anchorage devices , the preventative guidelines also describe so-called alternative anchorage options. These include, for example, load-bearing pipes, posts or girders that can be used temporarily to attach PPE.