Wood Frame Buildings

A significant change to the Ontario Building Code (OBC) was just revealed that positively affects the fall arrest anchor and tie-back equipment industry. It was recently announced that wood frame buildings can be built up to six storeys tall in Ontario (which is an increase from four storeys) effective January 1, 2015. Since roof anchor systems are required for maintenance …

Engineering a Complete Anchor System: Part 2

Since inception, Pro-Bel’s purpose has been to protect workers from falls.  The selection of fall protection, suspended maintenance, and window washing equipment to create an effective and efficient system is highly specialized and requires in depth knowledge of rigging methods / practices and safety regulations. There are two common misconceptions related to the design of these systems. 1)    There is …

Equipment on Terraces

As architects continue to imagine and design complex projects; it is becoming increasingly common that fall arrest and tie-back equipment are located on terraces of buildings. As the condominium market is still as competitive as ever; builders and developers are coming up with special features and incentives to lure buyers.  Items like barbecues, bars, built in kitchens, gardens, lounges, hot tubs, …

Engineering a Complete Anchor System: Part 1

Fall arrest and tie-back anchors are primarily designed to protect workers from falls while working on or over the roof edge. While a clear understanding of codes, regulations, and standards is of the utmost importance; the first consideration (after safety of course) is function when designing proper window washing, suspended maintenance, and fall protection systems.  Often buildings will install a …

Retrofitting Systems

It is always better to have fall arrest and tie-back anchors for window washing, suspended maintenance, and fall protection systems installed in the “new construction” phase.  But far too often, builders attempt to save the client money on construction costs without due consideration of retrofit.  There are a number of reasons to avoid retrofitting these systems when at all possible: …

Common Misconceptions Series – Part 1

I recently became aware of some very serious misconceptions within our industry and I thought that this would be a great platform to clear them up. One of the most frequent misconceptions that I hear is that “we need davits” for a building/project to complete window washing and suspended maintenance.  In certain situations this is definitely the case; however, they …

The Inspections Department

The Inspections Department is an integral part of our company.  Fall arrest and tie-back anchors (for window washing systems and fall protection equipment) are required to be inspected annually in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and the Department/Ministry of Labour. Our mission in this Department is two-fold: To develop first hand experience and maintain an expert team of Inspectors in this highly …

Strength & Force Standards

Many people do not have first hand experience with fall arrest and tie-back roof anchors (for window washing systems and fall protection equipment) and are not versed in high-rate energy performance methods. An ideal fall arrest and tie-back roof anchor is designed to meet the strength and force standards contained in Federal OSHA 29CFR1910.66 Appendix C. To arrest a fall in a controlled …

Working With Concrete

Whether it is new construction of retrofit; there is always a way to install window washing, suspended maintenance, and fall protection equipment.  While equipment can be installed on structural steel or even wood structure, the easiest structure to work with is reinforced concrete.  It is the most cost effective and does not typically require access to the underside or localized …

Roof Anchor Design Principles

The selection of proper roof anchors is critical and requires an in depth knowledge of fall window washing, suspended maintenance, and fall protection codes and rigging methods.  Also, recognizing that each building is different, most architects, developers, and general contractors find the selection of a professional roof anchor company a daunting task. Lifelines A standard lifeline is 5/8 inch (1.59 centimeters) in diameter …