Working Safely While Enhancing Safety
Summit Anchor Company workers take extra COVID-19 precautions while installing essential rooftop safety system.
By Keisha Winston
Safety harnesses with retractable steel lanyard? Check. Safety glasses and work gloves? Check. Respirator for COVID-19 protection? Check. Summit Anchor Company workers remain vigilant as they install rooftop fall protection systems, as shown on their latest project at the Holiday Inn-Washington Capitol in Washington, DC.
As Summit Anchor endeavors to keep workers at height safe, the company ensures its own employees are working with safety in mind. With COVID-19 still a concern, Summit Anchor installers continue using respirators, work gloves, and measures such as social distancing to protect themselves.
“We’ve got to keep our guys in good health,” said Anthony Lopez, who oversees Summit Anchor’s installation team. One installer just had a baby and most others on the installation team are fathers too. “So they all are safety conscious, not just with the pandemic but with fall protection. They’re concerned about their loved ones, their kids,” Lopez said.
From beginning to end, Summit Anchor emphasizes meeting federal work and local safety guidelines and protecting workers at height: It’s built into the way the company designs equipment layouts, in its coordination with clients on fall protection system drawings, in its quality control testing and reports during installation, and in its emphasis on installers wearing personal protective equipment on site.
For instance, Summit Anchor owner Gus Strats praised the installation team for tagging uninstalled anchors with “Do Not Use.” The tag kept workers from using the anchors before finishing the complete installation process, which includes curing the epoxy embedded bolts, torquing them, and then load testing anchorages to a minimum of 2,500 pounds. “We’ve seen other contractors tie ropes to anchors that weren’t even partially installed, just laying around on a roof,” Strats said.
As for the Holiday Inn project, Summit Anchor installed anchors for rope descent system (RDS), as well as a horizontal lifeline that allows maintenance workers to walk safely around the perimeter of the roof AND allows RDS workers a lifeline to connect to as they approach the anchors — thus, a two-part solution for an essential fall protection system. Rooftop renovations must meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards that ensure safe rooftop access
(*See OSHA’s 6 feet-15 feet rule). Anchors and horizontal cable systems are part of a comprehensive system to keep workers safe as they work at height. Maintenance workers at height include anyone from window washers suspended in the air to contractors walking or working around the roof’s perimeter — all of whom OSHA requires to tie-back to an anchorage for fall protection.
The Holiday Inn-Washington Capitol, located at 550 C Street, SW, is ideally situated for business and leisure travelers visiting the nation’s capital. The hotel, part of InterContinental Hotels Group, is within walking distance of area attractions like the National Air & Space Museum, the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court, the Washington Monument and the National Mall. The hotel is located one block from L’Enfant Plaza Metro and three miles from Reagan National Airport.
Lopez said that Summit Anchor is committed to keeping its worksites safe for workers. How long will the installers wear PPE used to guard against COVID-19? “For as long as it takes we’re going to observe any government guidelines, and just use good common sense,” Lopez said.
Summit Anchor, based in Frederick, Maryland, is a leader in comprehensive fall protection solutions, providing fall protection systems in the Washington, DC metropolitan region, nationally and internationally. Safety from the top down is Summit Anchor’s motto and mission, a champion of safe conditions for workers at height such as window washers, green-roof landscapers and other building maintenance workers.
Trust Summit Anchor Company, safety from the top down.
Written by Keisha Winston