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What qualifies a 5,000 pound anchor and why do we use it?

Multiple times we hear questions about 5,000 pound anchors and when to use them. Being the fall protection manufacturer that Malta Dynamics is, we find it important to answer questions like these.

Per OSHA, if you are tying off a person you are required to have a 5,000 pound anchor, per person attached to it. That means you will need a 10,000 pound rated anchor if two people are tied off. Your anchors must be designed and have testing to prove they can withstand the force.

One of the common misconceptions about a 5,000 pound anchor is that it can withstand the shock of 5,000 pounds falling. It’s actually a measure of force that is the equivalent of 22.2 kilonewtons. You would be surprised what a 250 pound grown man generates in force when he falls. Which is why most anchors you find on the market are at the 5,000 pound limit.

If the manufacturer does not follow the 5,000 pound guidelines, OSHA provides an alternative. A manufacturer is required to engineer, design and install anchorage under the supervision of a qualified person; typically a professional engineer. You must hold a safety factor of at least 2 when you are designing an anchor to meet OSHA standards.

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