Fall Protection

A - Anchors

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Anchorage connectors, as defined by OSHA, are secure fall protection anchor points of attachment for lifelines, lanyards or deceleration devices and are designed to hold fast under the forces generated during a fall.  Anchorage connectors vary by industry, job, type of installation and structure.

An anchorage connector may be a beam anchor, hook, tie-off adaptor, D- ring plate, tripod, davit or other secure device that serves as a point of attachment.

Fall protection anchors and anchorage connectors must be independent and capable of supporting 5,000 lbs. per worker attached, or they may be designed, installed and used under the supervision of a qualified person as part of a complete personal fall arrest system that maintains a safety factor of at least two times the maximum arresting force. Anchors must be located high enough for a worker to avoid contact with a lower level should a fall occur.

Composite image of workers on worksites using anchorage connectors, horizontal lifeline and access system
What kind of anchor do I need?
  • Anchorage Connectors

    Designed to provide a secure point of attachment, fall protection anchors are components that attach to the structure where work is occurring, either temporarily or permanently.

  • Horizontal Lifelines

    These safety systems are used to protect workers operating in the horizontal plane who may not have continuous access to suitable anchorage points. They can be temporary or permanent, and vary by connection point, connection type and number of users.

  • Access Systems

    Access systems provide purpose-built fall protection anchor points that can surround equipment that requires work at height, such as rail cars, aircraft or vehicles, often consisting of a ladder access system, jib or mobile frame.

Anchorage Connectors

Considerations when choosing an anchorage connector

There are many types of anchorage connectors available, each designed to offer a combination of features that fit a particular job. In general, you will want to consider:

  • Workers on roof secured by fall protection gear
    Structure and attachment type

    Anchorages are sold by what they connect to, and the structure will often require a specific type of attachment means. All-purpose wrap-around choker style anchorage connectors are the most versatile and will connect to various structure shapes and sizes. In addition, anchors are offered for steel, concrete, roofs and even specialty styles for poles, leading edges and more.

  • Worker on edge of large tank connected to fall protection anchorage
    Portable or permanent installation

    Anchors can be permanently installed for areas accessed often, or portable for temporary anchor points. Permanently installed anchors are typically constructed from durable, heavy-duty and corrosion resistant materials for extended periods of use and longevity.

  • Workers on top of bridge beams secured by all protection gear
    Fixed or mobile style

    Fixed anchor point are typically the easiest to use and find – they remain in one place and limit your work space. Mobile anchors move with you expanding your work area for maximum freedom of movement. You will also need to consider the connecting subsystem attached (ex. lanyard, self-retracting lifeline)

  • Worker kneeling on beam connected to fall protection anchor
    Durability, usability and strength

    All components must be made from quality materials strong enough to endure rough handling and exposure to the elements, and easy to use so they are used consistently and correctly. Your anchor and connecting components must be rated for your application such as fall arrest, rescue, work positioning or material handling. Choose one that maximizes strength, minimizes weight and offers maximum usability.

  • Tie-off adaptors

    Many all-purpose general anchors are simply choked-off to the anchorage structure, to provide a fast and safe tie-off point.


    These self closing, self-locking carabiners securely attach one component to another, keeping all gear firmly attached to each other.

    Anchors for Steel

    Anchors for steel feature connection points that easily attach to i-beams and other steel structures.

    Anchors for concrete

    Rugged and abrasion-resistant anchors attach to concrete walls, floors, decks and columns.

    Anchors for roofs

    These anchors keep workers safe without causing damage to the residential or commercial roof structure.

    Specialty anchors

    Specifically designed to attach to challenging anchorage structures, these devices are unique.

Horizontal Lifelines

Considerations when choosing a horizontal lifeline

Horizontal lifelines may be temporary or permanent – learn more about building permanent horizontal lifelines into a structure using engineered lifeline systems. In either case, there are several considerations:

  • Worker on edge of concrete structure connected to lifeline
    Anchorage structure type

    The structure your system must attach to, such as an I-beam, rebar stud, concrete column or roof, can dictate the type of specialized system required. A horizontal lifeline may appear to be a basic line strung between two anchors, but it is not. It is critical to choose a system that has been precision engineered and rigorously tested for the application and structure it will be attached to.

  • Worker on worksite wearing harness and fall protection gear
    Lifeline type

    Lifeline type or style can have a significant impact on your systems ease of use or installation, longevity and fall clearance to name just a few. Synthetic lines are extremely lightweight and compact while galvanized or stainless steel options offer added corrosion and abrasion resistance and typically require less fall clearance.

  • Workers atop steel structure connected to lifeline
    Clearance requirements

    The distance between the work area and the next level or obstruction is often called “fall clearance,” and this is a critical factor when choosing your system. Anchorage height, type of lifeline and length are just a couple of factors that will affect the required clearance needed. It is critical to choose the right system and connecting components to arrest the workers fall prior to hitting the ground or obstruction.

  • Workers on aircraft wing performing maintenance secured by fall protection gear
    Number of users

    These systems are used to protect workers operating in the horizontal plane who may not have continuous access to suitable anchorage points. Always consider the number of workers required to get the job done and choose a system that can accommodate those personnel safely. Systems are available for one, two, and even up to six workers depending upon your jobsite needs.

  • EZ-Line™
    User friendly and extremely fast to install, remove and store, this system eliminates large and bulky coils of cable.

    These systems are lightweight, easy to install and portable, ideal for maintenance, bridge work, construction and general industry applications.

    These systems incorporate a modular, multi-base design that accommodates a wide range of steel and concrete beams. Spans can reach up to 60 ft.

    SecuraSpan™ Fasten-in-Place
    This fully engineered horizontal lifeline system is designed to provide an overhead tie-off point and can be configured with different bases

    SecuraSpan™ Pour-in-Place
    Designed for installation on column tops, this system provides an overhead tie-off point during the decking process. They can be configured into single and multi-span types.

    This energy absorber and wedge grip termination is available to customize an existing system.

    This system installs in seconds, without special tools or equipment, for maintenance, bridge work, construction and manufacturing

Access Systems

Tailoring access systems to your need

Depending on your need, you may be in the market for standard, common access systems, modular systems that can be adjusted to fit your application, or a wholly-new custom design. Whichever is right for you, 3M has the expertise and products to bring your vision to reality. When it comes to versatile, reliable fall protection for unique work environments, we will help you every step of the way:

  • Fall protection access system  around large earthmoving equipment undergoing maintenance
    Standard design

    Our pre-engineered standard systems accommodate most applications and environments. We will work closely with you to determine if the off-the-shelf system is appropriate or if customization is necessary.

  • Military jet under maintenance access system
    Custom design

    A custom access solution is created based on your application requirements and design constraints. We will work together to determine goals and expectations; account for safety, code compliance, ergonomics and productivity; develop concepts and create 3D renderings of the solution; and work together to fine-tune the design.

  • Engineer at computer looking at schematics of fall protection system

    In the engineering phase, we produce models and drawings to your exact specifications. Together, 3M and your team will validate the design solution, perform a structural analysis, select materials, and approve third-party components. Based on approval of detailed CAD drawings, we then produce a full production drawing package for fabrication.

  • Welder assembling metal structure

    Finally, expert welders and fabricators bring your project to life. From materials purchasing and scheduling, to fabrication, quality checks, delivery, and installation, we will work together through the entire project installation requirements.

  • C-Frame systems
    Designed to be moved manually or with service vehicle, this system features outrigger support legs. Fixed and adjustable height options are available.

    A-Frame systems
    Provides a secure anchor point on a portable structure to give workers increased coverage and protection.

    Box frame systems
    These frames are built to accommodate a specific area or piece of equipment and offer a means of securing a fall arrest rigid rail in areas with limited space or inadequate overhead structure.

    Jib and base systems
    A portable solution for indoor and outdoor maintenance where mobility, positioning and worker safety are key. These systems incorporate a 360° rotating jib.

    Counterweighted systems
    Designed to be counterbalanced by concrete or other means, this portable solution allows for close positioning to the work surface.

    Freestanding ladder systems
    Provides easy access to elevated work areas and fall protection for up to two users from the ground up for the duration of the work being performed.

    Sky anchor system
    All systems are rated for one person use and provide 360° mobility within the safe working radius from the anchor point. They incorporate a collapsible design for easy setup and work with a variety of bases.

    Trailer hitch mount systems
    This system attaches to a class three hitch for transport on a truck or service vehicle. Assembled in less than 20 minutes, this system provides anchorage points up to 22 feet tall.

    Supported ladder systems
    Specifically designed for the safe access and maintenance of transportation vehicles in a variety of different applications and environments. The work platform is fully enclosed by guardrails.