When attaching a lanyard or lifeline to a surface at heights, you use what is known as an anchor. The structure you are connecting the anchor to is known as an anchorage. Lastly, the anchor point (also known as a tie-off point) is the point where your anchor is temporarily or permanently attached securely to the anchorage.
The security of your anchor point is crucial to keeping safe while working at heights. It should be perpendicular to the surface or unprotected edge of the job site. The anchor point needs to be as close as possible to your work surface. That way, you minimize the number of times you need to move or change positions to accomplish your task. You will need to keep your lifeline away from corners or sharp edges to prevent damage.
The key things to keep in mind about your anchor points are that you should not be in any danger when securing yourself to them. Ideally, your anchor point should be built into the design of the structure whenever possible. That way, you can work safely for the task at hand and any future work on the same surface.
Your anchor point’s location should ideally be overhead from the work you are performing and at least as high as the D-ring on your harness. Doing so will minimize free fall distance and prevent swinging from a fall (also known as “pendulum swing”).
Understanding anchor points and properly setting them up is vital to safely working at heights and keeping your co-workers and yourself safe at the job site.