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New Australian Standard for single point anchors proposed by Working at Height Association

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article image Single point anchors are critical in a wide variety of personal fall arrest systems

The Working at Height Association (WAHA) currently has a proposal with Standards Australia for the funding and development of a new Australian Standard relating to single point anchors.

The WAHA recommends that where personal fall protection equipment is required, there are three key elements employed:

  • full body fall arrest rated harness
  • a fall arrest rated anchor system; and
  • a connector to join the full body harness to the anchor system (usually a shock absorbing lanyard).

The Association notes that Australia has developed a wide ranging set of standards over the last 10 years covering personal fall protection equipment, collectively known as the AN/NZS1891 suite of standards.

This suite covers:

  • harnesses and ancillary equipment (lanyards, pole straps, etc.)
  • horizontal lifeline and rail systems; and
  • fall arrest devices (rope grabs etc.).

While it is regarded as one of the most comprehensive in the world, the suite fails to cover the widely used single point anchor, a device that the WAHA describes as critical in a wide variety of personal fall arrest systems.

Evidently, this gap in the standards leaves a huge potential risk for those working at height, so over the last 15 months the Technical Committee of the WAHA has worked to develop a draft standard for single point anchors.

It has lodged a proposal with Standards Australia to fund the finalisation of this Standard. The Standards Australia committee and public comment processes have a timeline of some 25 weeks and, if running to plan, the Standard should be published 35 weeks after commencement.

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