AS/NZS 1891.4, “Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices” is published by the body Standards Australia. It sets out recommendations for the selection, use and maintenance of industrial height safety equipment. If you install such equipment, you should have your roof inspected by a qualified roof inspector.
Who is Standards Australia?
Standards Australia is not part of government. It is Australia’s leading independent, non-government, not-for-profit standards organisation. Standards Australia doesn’t make acts or regulations. Their standards are generally voluntary documents. However, compliance with them becomes necessary when it is mandated by legislation.
Australian Standards reviews it standards regularly through its relevant technical committees to ensure they remain relevant and technically current. It also offers stakeholders across sectors pathways to developing new standards or updating existing ones. Another of its functions is to assess and approve other organisations to develop Australian Standards.
Compliance with AS/NZS 1891.4
Although AS/NZS 1891.4 is not mandatory under legislation, the falls code does include references to the AS/NZS 1891 series and “relevant Australian/New Zealand standards”.
Some sections of the industry raised concerns in 2015 about NATA-certified testing requirements, and in response Standards Australia held a fall arrest anchor forum to clarify these concerns. No clear outcome was derived but while the issue is unresolved many manufacturers are yet to complete testing to AS/NZS 5532 for their equipment, and some existing products are failing the test.
The track record of AS/NZS 1891.4
There have been no known instances of a correctly installed and inspected anchor that complies with the strength requirements from AS/NZS 1891.4 failing during a falls arrest incident.
Given this, SafeWork NSW has advised that product would be expected to comply with the standard.
The purpose of this standard is that fall arrest systems being used with anchors should provide energy absorbers, or other means, that limit the peak load on the harness connection. By doing so they will thus anchor during a fall to 6kN, as per the AS/NZS 1891 suite of standards.
Roof Inspection Reports strongly advises that inspection programs based on AS/NZS 1891.4, including annual load testing of chemical and friction anchors, should continue for all installed anchors.
If an inspection shows that anchors are damaged or not installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, the anchors should be made compliant with the manufacturer’s instructions or replaced. Examples include roof-mounted anchors with insufficient fasteners or anchors installed in roof sheeting that is thinner than specified.
Don’t take risks with workplace health and safety. Contact Roof Inspection Reports today for an inspection for compliance with AS/NZS1891.4.