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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

Fall protection manufacturers in the market place create anchor points that are designed for 5,000 pounds per OSHA requirements. Making an anchor point that can withstand a 5,000 pound ultimate load is seemingly straight forward and simple to do, as anchor points come in a number of different shapes and size with various attachment options depending on the application.

However, current standards do not require in situ testing, nor do they require factory testing of a complete mockup. This leads many of our clients to ask the very same, logical question: How do you know that your anchor and structure can withstand a 5,000 pound load?

The answer to this question comes in two parts. The first we will be examine in this week’s blog post and the second in a blog post next week.


Fall protection anchors that have yet to be installed benefit from the structure not being completed as it allows for adjustments to be made to the design (as necessary). During the design phase of a project, ESG works with the building’s Structural Engineer or Engineer of Record to communicate design loads and attachment methods. This is a critical phase of the project because expensive repairs will need to be made if the structure is finished without adequate ability to resist design loads. If the initial design is not adequate then a number of things can be done to make it adequate:

- Reinforce structure by adding a layer of plywood at anchor locations or by adding blocking between joists

- ‘Sandwich’ a structure by utilizing a backer plate (e.g., a 3.5” thick concrete slab over an 18 gauge metal deck)

- Adjust anchor design locations such that they land on stronger steel beams

For more information on determining anchor strengths for new installations, please feel free to contact me via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 1.800.466.6385.

Now read  to learn more about the challenging task of determining anchor strengths for existing installations!