Legislation & Standards

Testing & certification

SFS have their own state-of-the-art testing facility, a 6x6m test bed and 10m drop tower, suitable for testing to all current EU regulations and standards.

SFS Fall Protection Systems have been independently assessed and comply to EN795:2012 as well as the recently published CEN/TS16415:2013 multi user technical specification, AS/ NZS1891.2:2001, and UNI11578. SFS UK also test to ACR[M]002:2009-(Part2) Testing of Roof Anchors on Roof Systems.

The standards that govern Fall Protection are written to set a benchmark for minimum performance. It is important to acknowledge that the majority of standards do not specify the structure (roof profile or build up) when defining the requirements of the testing. All our independent testing, be it on systems or single points, is undertaken on OEM supplied product, not just secured direct to concrete, delivering accurate and meaningful results.

We are conscious of the many different structures in the market place and undertake in-house testing on standing seam, composite, single skin, built up systems and flat roofing (bituminous & PVC). Many of these tests are undertaken to provide backup data for our network of sales offices across Europe as well as allowing us to build up an extensive library of test data.

Our test facility is audited and calibrated by an independent UKAS accredited laboratory with all tests conducted in the same manner and to the same requirements as they provide to us for our certified products.

The Soter Horizontal Lifeline systems are tested and certified to allow from 1 to 4 users to safely work in either Arrest or Restraint conditions.

All our Horizontal Lifeline solutions are independently tested (UKAS laboratory) and certified to meet the requirements of:

EN795:2012, UNI11578– Personal fall protection equipment - Anchor devices single user
Requirements

  • Anchor device - Assembly of elements which incorporates one or more anchor points or mobile anchor points that can include a fixing element, is intended for use as part of a personal fall protection system, is intended to be removable from the structure and to be part of the anchor system.
  • Dynamic performance using 100kg test mass.
  • Static strength test for 3 minutes of 12kN.
  • Non-metallic materials a static strength of 18kN for 3 minutes unless evidence of durability is provided.
  • Type A anchor device with one or more stationary anchor points, with the need for a structural anchor(s) or fixing element(s) to fix to the structure.
  • Type C anchor device employing a flexible anchor line which deviates from the horizontal by not more than 15°.
  • To allow for foreseeable misuse of equipment, the standard requires that all anchor devices be tested for Fall Arrest even if their intended use is for Work Restraint.

CEN/TS16415:2013 – Personal fall protection equipment - Anchor devices - Recommendations for anchor devices for use by more than one person simultaneously
Requirements

  • Requires anchor devices to comply with EN795:2012.
  • Dynamic performance using 200kg test mass.
  • Static strength test for 3 minutes of 12kN + 1kN for every additional user.
  • Non-metallic materials a static strength of 18kN + 1kN for every additional user for 3 minutes unless evidence of durability is provided.
  • Type A anchor device with one or more stationary anchor points, with the need for a structural anchor(s) or fixing element(s) to fix to the structure.
  • Type C anchor device employing a flexible anchor line which deviates from the horizontal by not more than 15°.
  • To allow for foreseeable misuse of equipment, the standard requires that all anchor devices be tested for Arrest even if their intended use is for Restraint.

AS/NZS 1891.2:2001 - Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices
Requirements

  • Requires many of the requirements for anchor devices as to comply with EN795:2012.
  • Dynamic performance using 100kg test mass.
  • Static strength test for 3 minutes of 12kN.
  • A tensile force equal to 90% +/- 5% of the stated initial operating force for 2 minutes +/- 20 seconds without any sign of initial operation.
  • Initial operation of the device shall occur at a tensile force laying within +/-10% of the stated force.
  • Mobile attachment device requires 2 actions to be removable and must sustain 15kN for 3 minutes without breaking.

PPE directive and Fall Protection

What is Personal Protective Equipment, PPE?

This is defined by the Directive 89/686/EEC as, “held or worn by an individual to protect against one or more hazards”. This directive has been replaced by the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425, which came applicable on the 21st April 2018, when the original directive was repealed.

Horizontal Lifeline systems and the use of PPE under EN795:1996.

EN795:1996 was originally published to cover the requirements, test methods and instructions for use and marking of anchor devices designed exclusively for use with personal protective equipment against falls from a height.

This standard does not apply to hooks designed to EN 517 or walkways to EN 516, nor to fixed anchor points forming part of the original structure.

The standard defined 5 classifications, A, B, C, D & E being:

Class A – Comprises permanently fixed structural anchors
Class B – Transportable temporary anchors
Class C – Anchor devices employing horizontal flexible lines
Class D – Rigid anchor rails
Class E – Dead weight anchors.

Flexible Lifeline systems and single point anchors fall under classes A, B & C which are deemed to be outside of the PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. These specifically describe devices that are fixed onto a building or roof structure and are therefore not considered PPE under the scope of the PPE directive.

SFS compliancy to relevant standard:

Certificates: EN795:1996 (Type A) / Article 10 / Article 11A / CE Cert / TS16415:2013 available upon request.

Presumption of conformity

By definition the PPE Directive related to ‘personal’ protective equipment, as mentioned above; products that are ‘worn or held’, so did not apply to permanently fixed anchorages, preventing the application of a CE mark.

The United Kingdom adopted a ‘presumption of conformity’ which enabled CE marking, subject to notified body validation, of anchorages against EN795:1996 standard. As such, many permanently fixed anchorages, including horizontal lifelines (Class C) have been subjected to a basic validation process and are CE marked accordingly.

A subsequent ruling effectively withdrew the right of ‘presumption of conformity’ which has been recognised in the recent release of an updated and significantly amended EN795:2012 standard.

Horizontal Lifeline systems and the use of PPE under EN795:2012.

With the adoption of the new standard came the change to the outline scope of the regulation. This was modified to specify the requirements for performance, and associated test methods, for single user anchor devices that can be removed from the structure.

The classifications have been updated to give examples of anchor devices covered by the standard and those not covered. Classes of anchors have also been replaced by Types of anchor devices, eg Type A, B, C, etc. thus allowing a much clearer identification of the differences between the various devices.

Type A – Anchor device with one or more stationary anchor points with the need for structural anchors
Type B – Anchor device with one or more stationary anchor points without the need for structural anchors
Type C – Anchor devices employing flexible lines which deviates from the horizontal by not more than 15o
Type D – Rigid anchor line which deviates from the horizontal by not more than 15o
Type E – Anchor device on surfaces up to 5o from the horizontal, where performance relies upon mass & friction

It is also worth noting that the static strength tests now require that metallic anchor devices shall sustain a load of 12kN. Anchor devices that contain non-metallic load-bearing parts, for which evidence of durability is not provided, shall sustain a load of 18kN.

The Standard does not cover:
  • anchor devices intended to allow more than one user to be attached at any one time,
  • anchor devices used in any sports or recreational activity,
  • equipment designed to conform to EN 516 or EN 517,
  • elements or parts of structures which were installed for use other than as anchor points or anchor devices,
  • structural anchors

SFS compliancy to relevant standard:

Certificates: EN795:2012 (Type A & Type C) & TS16415:2013 available upon request.

Note: SFS Soter Slyder device currently with notified body SATRA for alignment with Annex VI (Module C) PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425.

Replacement of the PPE directive, with the PPE regulation affecting attachment devices.

This regulation requires products to be tested to the latest standards, therefore, attachment devices can no longer be certified to EN795:1996. What makes this slightly more complicated is that EN795:2012 Type C is no longer harmonised and as Type B requires the device to be stationary, the only way around this would be to test to EN795:2012 and mark the product directly with “PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425” instead of “EN795:2012”.

Ultimately an attachment device, such as the SFS SoterSlyder, will need updating to the PPE Regulation. The transition period for the new regulation will end on the 21st April 2019 when products must comply with the PPE Regulation. EC type-examination certificates and decisions remain valid until 21st April 2023 unless they expire before that date.

prEN17235 - Permanent anchor devices and safety hooks

Currently in draft stage the document will define requirements for anchor devices and safety hooks permanently fixed to buildings and structures. Anchor devices intend to prevent persons from falling and arrest falls used in and on buildings and civil engineering works. Anchor devices meant to be secured in such a way that they are part of the construction work and intended to ensure the safety in use or in the functioning of a construction work pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The anchor devices are intended for the attachment of personal fall protection systems complying with EN 363.

The document contains requirements for the following systems:

  • single anchor point system
  • safety hook system
  • wire anchor line system
  • rail anchor line system

The systems described by this document consist usually of several components, they must be evaluated as a system in its entirety. The document also includes requirements for the durability, marking, installation, assembly, documentation, operating and maintenance.

The document is not applicable to:

  • temporary anchor devices according to EN 795
  • facilities for roof access according to EN 516
  • permanently fixed ladders on roofs according to EN 12951

SFS compliancy to relevant standard:

No requirement exists as this document is currently in its early stages of development and we do not see this standard coming into force until 2020 at the very earliest. We continue to offer our input at steering group level and regularly have the opportunity to review the development of this draft standard within the peer group.

Vertical systems

Soter Vertical Fall Protection system has been designed to provide user safety when climbing a ladder. The system can be installed to any length via tensioned wire rope attached to brackets at either end of the ladder. The user attaches themselves to a Traveller device which has been designed to the latest standards, EN353-1:2014

  • Incorrect attachment - cannot be accidently installed on the line system upside down,
  • Hands free protection – once attached the user can focus on climbing the ladder without the need to adjust or manoeuvre the Traveller device,
  • Multiple modes of attachment – to avoid accident detachment during use,
  • Built in shock pack – in the event of a fall the traveller will limit the shock impact on the user to below 6kN,
  • Limited fall – restricts user fall to below 1 mtr,
  • Stainless steel – all metallic components A2 stainless steel,
  • High system strengths – system components are independently tested to in excess of 15kN.

Certificates : EN353-1:2014 / CE Cert, available on request.

Contact

SFS Fall Protection
SFS Group Fastening Technology Ltd.
153 Kirkstall Road
UK-LS4 2AT Leeds
T +44 1924 472251

fallprotection@sfs.biz