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Difference Between Testing and Inspections  

What does commercial rooftop safety entail?

Rooftop facade access safety starts with building tie-off anchorages and equipment such as roof anchors, davit systems, building maintenance units (BMUs), horizontal lifelines, and other structure anchorages. Workers use these to attach their harnesses, platforms, and safety equipment while accessing a building’s facade for maintenance, cleaning, or repair. Regulations and codes are put in place by OSHA and other regulating bodies to ensure those systems are in good working order and that they have enough redundancies in place to limit harm from unforeseen events.

Annual Inspections, Testing and Certifications, defined

Annual inspections and 5- or 10-year testing and certification are two main rooftop tie-off safety requirements a building owner, engineer, or building manager is responsible for regarding roof anchors & davit systems.  

Davit system inspections by Wikstrom Engineering

Testing & Certification

Testing consists of a comprehensive inspection in addition to an engineering guided pull or load test, using specific equipment, under the supervision of a professional engineer. Testing is performed for certification or recertification of anchors and davit bases. In most cases regulations stipulate the load or pull testing requirements to be performed every ten years when annual inspections are also performed in the subsequent years. Many anchors or davits get tested every 5 years, however, due to heavy use, type of connection to the structure, exposure to extreme weather, lower risk tolerance, or to limit building liability. The 10-year timeline written into the regulations is often viewed as the minimum needed for safety.

Annual Inspections

Annual inspections of anchors and davit systems are a necessary standard and consist of a review of the condition and upkeep of each unit including inspecting the integrity of the attachment to the building structure, signs of corrosion, cracking, weld/bolt wear or failure, the number & location for optimum safety, and/or degradation from excessive use.  

Unsure what you need, exactly? No problem. The team at Wikstrom Engineering is here to help get you organized and keep you on a path to maintaining compliance and ensuring your rooftop safety is sound. Contact us today to discuss your rooftop safety needs.