Eyebolt Installation and Testing

This information is intended to provide guidance on carrying out periodic examination on class A1 Anchor Devices to BS EN 795[1] in accordance with the recommendations of BS 7883:2005[2].

The new recommendations in BS 7883 make it clear that the examining body must do more than simply remove eyebolts for examination and carry out a load test. When an examining body carries out an examination and issues a favourable certificate, that body is effectively certifying the installation as being fit for purpose. The installation must be checked, as far as possible, to see that it complies with all requirements of BS 7883:2005. Many existing installations will not comply in one way or another either because of new requirements of 7883 or because of bad practices carried out in the past.

A summary of requirements:

BS7883:2005 requirements are shown in italics.

Note: where no specific reference is made to the intended use of the anchor device (i.e. fall arrest, rope access or fall restraint/work positioning) the recommendations for fall arrest should be assumed.

References shown are section numbers in BS 7883:2005.

Periodic examinations are required at intervals of no more than 12 months for fall arrest and 6 months for rope access. For anchor devices used infrequently, they may be used if they have been examined within the last 12 (6) months.

Examinations are to be carried out by a competent person. A competent person is a “designated person suitably trained or qualified by knowledge and practical experience to enable the required task or tasks to be carried out properly” [from BS 8437:2005, see also EN 365:2004] Reading this Guidance Note alone does not satisfy this requirement.

Examinations should be carried out to the manufacturer’s instructions. These should follow recommendations of BS 7883 and are specified by the installer in documentation which must be passed to the client on completion of the installation.

It is recommended that the client /building owner be asked, before the examination is undertaken, to provide a copy of the documentation provided by the original installer specifying the examination requirements. This, for instance, will confirm if the requirements are those for a solid or a cavity construction. If no such documentation is available, the recommendations of BS7883:2005 should be followed for the type of installation/structure.

A check must be made before the examination to determine whether or not a through fixed installation has been made, this will avoid problems with for instance through fixed components falling onto occupants of the floor below if a floor fixed eyebolt is unscrewed on the assumption that it is set in a resin socket.

Competence for Inspection

Detailed examination requirements are as follows, for all installations:

  • Examine the eyebolt for correct marking, this depends on the date of installation and must be clear and indelible. See the section below.
  • Check that the structural anchor is of an approved type and appropriate to the structure
  • Check that the anchor device is manufactured from materials suitable for the corrosion conditions, e.g. stainless steel if any part is external.
  • Check, as far as possible that positioning requirements are met especially:
    • The structure is sufficiently load bearing e.g. not in the top of a parapet wall or directly below a window,
    • Anchor device can be accessed before the user is at risk
    • Edge distances are in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations