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Eye Bolt Testing


Meeting Safety Regulations

Helping our clients stay up-to-date with the latest eye bolt regulations.   

Spectrum was asked by a property management company to test abseil anchor points and ensure all eye bolts on the property were EN795 compliant.

The Project

We were given one day to carry out the works. However, because of the issues we encountered, the project took a few months to organise and complete.

The Site

The site where the eye bolt testing was due to take place was a large building with a number of integrated abseiling anchor points. These anchor points had been installed a while ago. Although they met with all safety regulations at the time of installation, they were no longer compliant with EN795, the rules that govern fall arrest systems.
This meant that, while the eye bolts had passed previous safety tests, they now failed the inspection. It took a contractor like Spectrum, that stays up to date with all of the latest rules and regulations, to identify this issue and find a way to put it right.

The Logistics

In order to try and resolve this issue, we submitted a request to the HSE department asking them to comment on the current state of EN795 regulations. Receiving reliable, expert advice allowed us to provide the property management company with a number of different options and confidently advise the client on the best course of action.

All Spectrum operatives working on this project had undertaken a specialist testing course for anchor devices. They had also completed training on how to use Hydra Jaws, a piece of equipment that is used to properly test abseil points installed on a property.

Meeting Safety Requirements

All eye bolts and anchor points need to be EN795 compliant. This means they have to meet all the safety standards outlined by the regulation. The EN795 standard specifies five different classes of anchors, A, B, C, D and E. The standard was updated in 1997 and ratified in 2012 to become BS EN 795:2012.

The main requirement of EN795 2012 is that the eye bolt manufacturer must test its product in the substrate it is going to be connected to. There are a huge number of different roof profiles, all of which will behave in a different way. This means it’s essential to test eye bolts with the materials they will be anchored to.

As well as being thoroughly tested during the manufacture process, eye bolts and anchor points need to be tested every year to ensure they continue to meet safety standards. Eye bolts that are used specifically for rope access should be checked every six months.

If eye bolts and other safety equipment does not meet the relevant safety standards, it will not only invalidate the insurance policy, it can put people’s lives at risk. As our teams work at height on a regular basis, we are very aware of the need for high quality, reliable safety equipment. As a result, we take eye bolt testing very seriously.

Eye bolt testing is an important part of property maintenance. These installations need to be up to standard if they are going to be used safely by operatives working at height.

In the case of this site, the eye bolts had been compliant with safety standards when they were installed. However, due to changes in legislation, the anchor points no longer met current safety standards.

In order to make the eye bolts compliant, they had to be removed and replaced with anchor points that could take side loading. This meant our team was required to carry out core drilling to remove the existing anchor points and install new ones. As this type of work is very expensive, we presented the client with a number of different options and advised them on the best course of action.

As Spectrum had also won the window cleaning contract for the block, we knew that safe, compliant anchor systems were required fairly urgently. One of the options we gave the client was using our own portable anchorage system to carry out work on the property. This system meets all safety standards and is easy to use in almost all settings. We also offered the client the option to pay to decommission the eye bolts so that they would not be open to misuse is the future.

Spectrum has an in-depth understanding of EN795 and all of its subsections. This means that we are able to quickly and effectively test eye bolts and ensure they meet the safety standard. If, as in the case of this project, eye bolts are found to be non-compliant with EN795, we can recommend the work necessary to rectify the situation and make the equipment safe to use.

When testing the eye bolts on the property, we had to take a number of factors into account. 

These included:

·The structure of the building

·The position of the eye bolt

· The potential fall distance

·Potential obstacles

In order to confirm the holding power of anchors, we use a system called Hydra Jaws. This is specifically designed to help operatives check eye bolts are correctly installed, safe to use and EN795 compliant. As our teams work from height on a regular basis, they are able to assess all of these factors quickly and efficiently.

Finding Solutions For Our Clients 

Although this project turned out to be more complicated than it seemed at first, we were pleased that our expertise and experience allowed us to identify the issue and find a satisfactory solution. We were able to present the client with a number of different options and advise them on the best way to make the building safe. Despite the complications, we were still able to bring this project in on budget.

Ensuring eye bolts and other safety equipment is fit for use is incredibly important and is a big part of what we do. Many other contractors would not have been aware that the regulations had changed and so the issue would not have been highlighted.

Supporting Safety Systems

Following the testing and decommissioning of the old eye bolts, the building is now compliant with all relevant safety regulations.

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