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Awkward Anchor Points

Posted by Doug Kotecki on

Sometimes finding the right anchor can be a pain in the ass. You don't have a great area to attach to or your tie off point doesn't work perfectly with out of the box solutions. We have an unheralded and under-used anchor option.

The cross arm strap is one of the most versatile anchor options available, but sadly it remains underused.

(Side note before I go any further into this post. I'm assuming that your tie off points are actually capable of supporting the 5,000 lbs. of force required by OSHA)

Here are a couple of options for the cross arm strap…

1. If you have an I beam above you, you might want to consider a cross arm strap. Especially if you don't plan on moving all over the place. Cross arm straps are a fraction of the cost of standard and sliding beam anchors. Another plus of using a cross arm strap on a beam is if you need to lower the anchor point a bit, you can do that by buying a longer cross arm strap.

2. Sometimes it can be possible to use a cross arm strap around a chimney for fall protection. (Again make sure all safety requirements are met) The advantage is that you don't have to penetrate the roof to install an anchor point. The bad part is that you have to be careful near the edge of the roof. Swing fall and too much lifeline can be a serious hazard while using an anchor point like this.

3. Basically, if you have any structural element that you can tie off to, and you can wrap the cross arm strap around it, you've got a solution. Which is nice to know.

One last note before I wrap up here. Unless explicitly defined, cross arm straps are not intended to be used permanently and exposed to the elements for extended periods of time.

Hopefully, we've introduced or reminded you of a handy and often forgotten anchor point that may be able to help you out of a jam. Got questions, let us know.

  • Tags: Advice, Anchors, Archives 2010

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