Structural Safety in Anchoring

What is a Safety-critical application? European Technical guidelines defines as “Applications in which the failure of an anchor could result in collapse or partial collapse of a structure, cause risk to human life, or lead to a significant economic loss”. Given the importance of the reliability and stability of anchors in protecting the safety, health and welfare of people and property, each anchor used in a structural capacity should always have a European Technical Assessment(ETA) approval.

There have been a number of tragic fatal failures due to defective anchor usage.

Fatal Big Dig Anchor Failure – The Big Dig ceiling collapse in 2006, when a concrete ceiling panel of 24 tons fell in Boston’s Fort Point Channel Tunnel. The panel fell on a car killing a passenger and injuring the driver. This also caused the tunnel to be closed for almost a full year, causing chronic traffic backups.

Tunnel ceiling collapse kills in Japan – More than 300 ceiling panels, weighing about 1,200kg each, collapsed in a section of tunnel  crushing three vehicles and their occupants and damaging several other vehicles. Suspected cause of the collapse is failure of the anchor bolts

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