A BIG change to the BS 7883 Standard

For the maintenance & inspection of anchor devices & systems

BS 7883:2019, available to purchase here, dictates the rules around the recertification of anchor devices and systems, and is the newest amendment to the BS BS 7883 standard, providing a comprehensive best practice document for anchor devices, and systems used in work at height.

Our FREE introduction to BS 7883:2019 White Paper is available to download at the bottom of this article.

What is BS 7883?

BS 7883

First introduced in 1997, BS 7883 created comprehensive guidelines around the design, installation, and especially maintenance of anchor devices, such as Class A Eyebolts.

It was revised in 2005, and more recently 2019, where it was expanded upon to reflect advancements within fall protection systems technology. It is this most recent amendment which could affect your fall protection solution.

The legislation now covers five ‘types’ of anchor system:

  • TYPE A: Permanently fixed Anchor Systems, incorporating one or more structural anchors, such as an eyebolt.
  • TYPE B: Removable and transportable anchors that do not incorporate a structural anchor, and hence are not permanently fixed to a structure.
  • TYPE C: Structurally anchored Anchor Systems, incorporating a flexible anchor line such as wire rope, fibre rope, or webbing.
  • TYPE D: Structurally anchored Anchor Systems incorporating a rigid rail or tube.
  • TYPE E: Anchor Devices relying solely on mass and friction between themselves and load-bearing surfaces.

Regular inspection and recertification by a competent third party is a legal responsibility, and we have made it a core part of our business.

This change to the standard, guided by the British Standards (PH5) Committee will go a long way to ensure the ongoing integrity of occupational health and safety in the UK. However, it does mean many systems installed and even re-certified prior to the 2019 amendment might no longer be compliant.

Fall Protection Testing and Re-Certification
Rooftop Inspection and Recertification

Why is recertification vital?

Each year in the UK, 26% of all fatal, accidental injuries stem from falls from height, with 40 workers suffering fatal injuries due to falls in 2019 alone. A large percentage of these fall deaths can be traced back to falls over and through roofs. This is why safety systems are vital, and why it is so important to regularly inspect and re-certify them.

If you have not had your anchor devices or fall protection systems inspected after this new amendment was introduced, your system may no longer be compliant, leaving you open for potential legal issues should a fall occur.

All fall protection systems should be inspected and recertified by a competent third party at least annually, according to UK legislation. Whilst equipment should be inspected before each use, a regular, in-depth inspection by a fully trained engineer is required.

The engineer should be fully aware of components used, and ensure they are present and correct, able to identify components which are missing, incorrectly assembled, incompatible, or simply worn out.

Recertification is a central part of our safety ethos, and working closely on an ongoing basis with clients is critical, to ensure the safety of their systems.

With the introduction of the 2019 BS 7883 amendment, we at APS Safety Systems are getting in touch with all of our clients to inform them of the change, and render the assistance of our skilled, highly-trained recertification engineers.

How has 7883:2019 changed inspection & recertification?

The amended standard introduces four categories of inspection results:

  • Pass: the system is fully compliant, satisfies all recommendations, and is safe to use with the corresponding personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Conditional pass: the system satisfies the previous standard and does not pose any immediate concern, but it does not meet all recommendations of BS 7883:2019, including the absence of vital information. The system, and corresponding PPE should be labelled as remaining in service with a detailed inspection report produced, and issued to the duty holder, with recommendations on how to meet the new standard, and a timescale for completion.
  • Conditional fail: the system meets a previous standard but represents an immediate safety concern which can be improved to meet the recommendations of BS 7883:2019. The system must be taken out of service and labelled accordingly, with an inspection report issued to the duty holder, detailing the necessary remedial work and a timescale for the system to be returned to service.
  • Fail: the system does not satisfy the recommendations of BS 7883:2019, nor any previous standard, and represents an immediate safety issue which is beyond improvement or repair. The system must be removed from service immediately and labelled clearly that it should not be used. Where possible, it should be decommissioned with an inspection report produced and issued to the duty holder.
Safety Lifeline Recertification
System Technical File

Notably, the new amendment clearly defines the term ‘System Technical File’, an evidence-based document produced by the system designer, and handed off to any duty holder. This document must clearly show the system design and layout, design calculations, and structural attachment detail, allowing future inspectors to assess and verify compatibility, safety, and operational sustainability.

Without this System Technical File – or parts of it – future recertification technicians might not be able to fully inspect the system. furthermore, hidden elements within a system which cannot be examined without taking the system apart should be recorded clearly within the file, with sequential photos taken during installation. Original installations might not have this critical document, meaning the system cannot be certified without a full system review.

According to the new amendment, the information in this table, should be available in the System Technical File.

What do you need to do?

Whilst BS 7883:2019 may seem far more in-depth and severe than previous versions of the standard, it exists to provide greater protection to anyone working at height.

With the latest amendment to the BS 7883 standard, assuming a system is compliant because it was when it was installed, or because it has an existing certificate, is no longer sufficient. That’s why we’re working proactively to ensure the safety of systems across the UK and Ireland, offering the services of our expert recertification engineers.

Our engineers can rigorously inspect all types of existing anchor devices and fall protection systems, to ensure they fully meet the amended guidelines, and providing a full inspection report with advice you can trust.

By taking the opportunity to meet the updated standard, you can be safe in the knowledge your systems are fit for use, protecting both your employees, and your business.

Fall Protection Systems Recertification
BS 7883:2019 White Paper

How can APS Safety Systems help you?

In September 2020, APS Safety Systems merged with Roof Edge FabricationsThe Roof Anchor Company and W.H. Maintenance, all leading Scottish based fall protection and safety solution specialists, to become the industry leader in Scotland. As the prime Scottish end-user business unit for the global Kee Safety Group, APS are able to provide a premium fall protection safety solution and unrivalled aftercare inspection & recertification services.

With the implementation of 7883:2019, we are working closely with both long-term and new clients to ensure their systems are fully re-certified, and meet this crucial standard.

For more information, download our introduction to BS 7883:2019 for free.

To discuss your recertification needs with our expert engineers, please call us today on 0141 880 6688, or fill in the form below and one of our highly experienced team will contact you.

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