Vol. 3 – If Load Testing Isn’t the Answer, What Is?

As mentioned in the previous blog post in this series, load testing without analysis is not a reliable way to determine anchorage strength. To avoid damage and unnecessary expense, anchorage strength should be predicted using analytical methods. When workmanship cannot be verified visually, such as with adhesive anchors, then nondestructive testing may be appropriate. But relying on load testing to predict the strength of an anchorage that you know nothing about is foolish.

The effort spent trying to satisfy the strength requirements also commonly distracts owners from other potentially higher risk issues, such as whether a fall protection system has sufficient clearance, the system can be safely accessed, or whether employees are sufficiently trained to use the equipment.

I encourage organizations to follow the process to certify an anchorage outlined in the ANSI/ASSP Z359.6 standard. It provides direction on how to ensure that these additional factors are addressed. The standard clearly outlines the requirements for certification of an anchorage and includes use procedures, evaluation of fall clearance and swing fall hazards, and a means of rescue.

OSHA requires all the same considerations as well, but due to the nature of regulatory text, the ANSI standard uses clearer language with direct instruction that is easier to understand and implement.

An article recently authored by my colleagues Rupert Noton and Andrew Emmons in Professional Safety magazine discusses in more detail the different methods for testing anchorages, as well as the benefits of certification and re-certification of anchorages. This is a great resource to dive a little deeper into this topic.

In the next blog post in this series, we provide more information on the value of involving a fall protection Qualified Person in your anchorage analysis and testing efforts. Subscribe now or check back next Wednesday for that information. As always, we welcome your comments and additional questions on this topic below.






  1. […] the next blog in this series, we provide more information on what anchorage analysis and certification requires. […]

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