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  • When you include Soter within your roofing package you get greater control of project completion times.

  • Architects -
    design a safe and practical system

Anchorpoint Safety Systems Ltd are pleased to be authorised installers of the Soter Horizontal Safety Line System; designed to appeal to all parties who come into contact with Horizontal Life Lines, from designers right through to the end user.

As part of this authorisation Anchorpoint Safety Systems Ltd have attended the RIBA approved presentation thereby ensuring that we are able to better assess and understand the relevant criteria and system requirements, along with with the overall suitability of an arrest or restraint system design.

This CPD has been produced with Architects & Designers in mind. It features:

  • An understanding of the current HSE & CDM regulations
  • What to specify and why
  • Hierarchy of safety design considerations
  • How and why many systems fail to meet these regulations
  • Importance of calculations
  • Warranties

Minimising the Risk when working at heightcone


Avoid work at height wherever possible…

…is well known HSE guidance, however where this is not possible, we are all responsible for minimising the risks. When roof access cannot be avoided ALL current guidance dictates that a ‘work restraint system’ is the best option and this is where the Soter Horizontal Safety Line System comes in.

Restraint or arrest – what’s the difference?

Work Restraint System: No possibility of a fall

no possibility
A typical restraint system would have a lifeline running around the perimeter of the building, 2.3m back from any potential fall.
This would allow for gutter cleaning and maintenance (the most common reason roof access is required).

This type of system requires the minimum of PPE training.

Fall Arrest: Risk of a fall

A fall arrest system requires more input from a design point of view and should always be backed up with published calculations applicable to the roof substrate type.

This type of system can require extensive PPE & system training.

Evolving Needs

Over the last 30 years the industry has gradually moved away from fixing rigid support posts through the roof construction back to the main structural purlins. These were typically fixed back to the structural steelwork, where 10m spacings were permissible. After years of thermal movement, the external roof seals become seriously challenged. This move away from rigid ‘through fix’ posts towards more flexible and more faller friendly components has effectively ended the era of ‘standard’ post spacing and simplistic, uncalculated and non-scientific designs. Nowadays, modern support posts are mounted on a variety of outer skin roof substrates and thicknesses, therefore it also follows that the functionality and protection afforded to the user should reflect this.

A system’s components should be tailored to the individual roof build up. Extreme danger could lie within a safety line system whose untested shock loads are capable of detaching the outer roof skin!


Merely asking for a safety line, abdicates design responsibility. In order to establish the requirement of a bespoke Horizontal Life Line, the need to access the roof must be clearly understood e.g.

  • Gutter cleaning & maintenance
  • Access to air conditioning units
  • Roof-light cleaning
  • Plant & machinery
  • Solar or Photovoltaic panel maintenance
  • Green Roof maintenance
Whatever the design factors are taken into consideration, the first option should always be to design the system to restrain. Before design can start we must fully understand the needs of the system. The following factors should be typically considered:

  • Roof material
  • Access point
  • Building height
  • Roof lights
  • Number of Users
Typically Anchorpoint Safety Systems will take the following into account:

  • What is the intended use of the system?
  • Arrest or restraint?
  • What’s the roof substrate and can it take the loads?
  • Has it been calculated?
  • What’s the building height?
  • How will the system be accessed?
  • Rooflights – when should lights be considered ‘fragile’?

Testing and Calculations

The Soter range has been tested to BS EN795 & The Advisory Committee for Roof Works latest publication the ‘Magenta’ guide to testing.

Results from all of these tests have been independently accredited to produce a comprehensive calculations program. It is simple to use and can determine optimum post spacing to meet the end load performance that varies so much with differing roof types. Some of the substrates tested include Aluminium standing seam, composite panels (with topskins down to 0.4mm), double skin and twin skin 0.7mm along with metal, timber and concrete decks.