Choosing a Stanchion
Before you go out and purchase your fall arrest equipment, you should first verify what the job requirements are and what types of surfaces to which you will be attaching. Knowing the kind of surface you will be anchoring to is important, because it will determine the type of base you will need your stanchion to have. Here are a few examples:
Standard Roof Anchor – Typically a standard roof anchor is a steel post with a solid steel plate at the bottom which contains several screw holes for securing the post to a solid surface. On top of the post is a large metal loop intended for clipping safety equipment. The post stands tall enough that this roof anchor can be left in place once the work is complete, for future repair needs.
Beam Stanchion – This type of stanchion comes in different sizes and is used with metal girders and beams when performing high-rise construction. As with the standard roof anchor, the beam stanchion has a post with a looped flange at the top for clipping in. However, the base has a claw grip that attaches over the top of the beam or girder locking it into place.
I-Beam Horizontal Lifeline – The Lifeline uses several beam stanchions in a line spaced a few feet apart to create secure posts for running a cable through the eyelets in order to create a lifeline or temporary railing while work is being completed during construction.
Standing Seam Roof Top Anchor – Many commercial farms, industrial buildings, and warehouses have metal standing seam roofs, making it difficult to install a standard post. The standing seam anchor is a short looped post that is attached to a flat steel base which has locking clips on each side so that it can lock directly onto the exposed seams of the roof. A much more secure anchor is created by attaching the stanchion in this manner rather than attempting to screw into this kind of roofing system.
Fall arrest stanchions come in different heights to meet multiple needs with several finish choices such as polished galvanized steel, Zinc plated steel and painted to protect them from the elements and maintain their safety ratings.
Lock-in Loop Options
Besides coming in multiple heights, you can also find stanchions with a few different types of lock-in points.
Swivel – The standard swivel option relates to the way in which the lock-in loop is attached to the stanchion. In this case, it is connected in a way that allows it to rotate up to 360 degrees for optimal movement as you relocate while completing a job.
Stationary – Stationary lock-in loops are formed directly onto the stanchion usually from the same piece of steel, creating a non-rotating anchor point.
D-Ring Swivel – This is similar to the swivel option listed above, except the loop is a D-ring.
Bolt Pass Through – The bolt pass through end allows you to attach two smaller posts together in order to create an intermediate post.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
As with any fall arrest safety equipment, there are specific things to keep in mind. As mentioned above the surface of the anchor point is a critical consideration since it is the base for where all of your other safety equipment will be supported.
In addition to surface factors, load distribution is another area of concern. Most stanchions are designed to absorb some to most of the energy that would usually pull the anchor free. However, this does very little towards the person who is falling's shock impact safety. For the best protection, it is recommended to combine the use of a shock absorbing lanyard with the stanchion.
Compatibility is another area to consider. Will you be transitioning between types of equipment or different styles of harnesses that are meant to do various tasks? Such as:
Rope Grab System
Shock Absorbing Lanyard
If so verify that your stanchion is intended to be universal and will function properly with all of the equipment that you will be using.
Trust your Distributor so that you will Trust your Equipment
The market is flooded with products, manufacturers, and distributors who are claiming to do the same thing. That doesn’t make all equipment or manufacturers products the same. When you are purchasing safety equipment that could be the difference between a scary fall and a fatal fall, the last thing you want to do is assume you bought quality products.
Harness Land is a Houston-based company who takes this concern very seriously. They know that what they sell could save a life, and as such have invested the time to research the products and manufacturers that they contract with to ensure that they are offering you only the best equipment available for the best prices. They do not sell seconds or knock off brands that may fail under everyday wear and tear.
In addition to Harness Land taking the time to become authorized distributors for every line that they sell, they also make sure that each of these manufacturers and the equipment that they produce meets OSHA and ANSI standards. Doing so is just another way that they show their real concern for your safety and satisfaction.
You can count on Harness Land to have the knowledgeable staff on hand to answer any of your questions or concerns; if they are not sure of an answer they will check into it and get back to you with the correct answer, there’s no room for guessing when safety is concerned.