Fall Arrest, Static Line & Rope Access anchors require inspection and certification at least every 12 months by competent person in accordance with the majority of manufacturer’s specifications and requirements of Standard AS/NZS 1891.4:2009 Section (9).

However, most state regulations now specify inspection of anchors every 6 months when in “regular use”.

How often your height safety equipment needs to be tested depends on the type of system installed. As stated, fall arrest, static line and rope access anchors generally require annual certification in most contexts. Some industrial and high use applications require 6 monthly inspection and certification. Harnesses, lanyards and other safety equipment also require periodic inspection dependent on use and manufacturers specification.

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Two (2) different types of tests may be required:

  1. Proof load test
  2. Verification test

Proof Load Test
The proof load test is used to prove that the connection to the substrate is adequate. This test shall be performed on anchors in masonry materials and may be prescribed by the designer for other types of anchors.

Proof loads are performed in axial tension (direct pull). On-going proof-loading (i.e. after initial installation) may require removal of the anchors for inspection for corrosion.

Products that shall be proof loaded include glued in anchors and friction type anchors.

  • The proof load applied shall be 50% of the minimum anchor design load (e.g. apply 7.5kN to an anchor rated to 15kN and held for a period of 3 minutes without failure), unless the manufacturers requirements say otherwise.
  • Pass / fail criteria – no visible permanent deflection/deformation or failure to hold the load.
  • Proof load testing shall also be carried out for fasteners that attach components of a lifeline system to masonry materials.
  • Proof load testing may also be required by the lifeline manufacturer of the termination components to the cable.

Verification test – No proof load test is required, a visual inspection is performed to confirm the installation is as per the manufacturer’s recommendations/ specifications. The verification test includes the anchor or lifeline and the substrate.

A typical example of a verification test would be a top fixed anchor attached to roof sheeting.


All anchor points shall be identified with a weather proof plate. Each anchor point shall be individually tagged, or identified on an anchor/rigging plan positioned at the entry point to the system. The labelling shall be legible and durable taking account of likely weather conditions. Following any incident such as a fall, affected anchors shall be tagged and withdrawn from service until an engineering assessment/inspection has been carried out and the anchor replaced, repaired or re-certified.