Mobile Anchor System

A mobile anchor system is a type of fall protection equipment that is designed to be portable and easily relocated to provide safe tie-off points for workers who are working at heights.


Mobile anchor systems (MAS) are versatile and portable fall protection equipment designed to allow for easy transportation to various locations and work conditions. These systems can be moved by hand, forklift, or towed, making them highly adaptable. MAS are designed to work seamlessly with a range of fall protection equipment, including harnesses, lanyards, and lifelines in work areas without accessible tie-off points. MAS can improve safety in construction sites by providing reliable fall arrest capabilities. 

MAS are suitable for outdoor and indoor use, especially in settings where overhead anchor points are absent or where work activities are not confined to a specific area.

A critical feature of MAS is their full tie-off capability, allowing complete anchorage from the ground level upwards, which is essential for preventing falls from heights. Importantly, unlike fixed anchors, MAS do not require any attachment to or penetration of the structure, thus maintaining the integrity of the construction site while providing necessary safety measures.

While the list is not comprehensive, below are a few commercially available examples of MAS.

Malta Dynamics XSERIES Grabber Mobile Fall Protection

The XSERIES Grabber from Malta Dynamics is a versatile mobile fall protection system featuring an adjustable mast with multiple overhead anchor points, providing fall protection in various locations. This self-contained system, available in several models (figure 1), is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It is easily transportable, being road-towable at standard highway speeds and equipped with built-in fork pockets for indoor maneuverability. The mast height can be adjusted from 2 feet to 35 feet, supporting up to 5 users simultaneously. Each model has undergone third-party testing to comply with OSHA fall protection codes and is designed to meet ANSI fall protection standards. Please visit the manufacturer link to the right for more information.

Figure 1. Various XSERIES Grabber models (Photo courtesy of Engineered Fall Protection division of Tri-State Equipment Company Inc)

SPANCO, Inc. Rigid Lifelines Mobile Fall Arrest Overhead Systems

Rigid Lifelines offers a diverse range of mobile anchor systems, designed to provide versatile and reliable fall protection in various work environments. Their product line includes portable bases that are easy to transport and set up, ensuring quick adaptability to different job sites. These systems are engineered for both indoor and outdoor use, accommodating a variety of work conditions. The mobile anchors from Rigid Lifelines are equipped with features like adjustable masts and multiple anchor points, catering to different height requirements and supporting multiple workers simultaneously. Please visit the manufacturer link to the right for more information.

Figure 2. Adjustable-height rolling A-frame mobile anchor system (Photo courtesy of Rigid Lifelines)

Risks Addressed:

Working near unprotected roof edges, roof and floor openings, and on scaffolds, lift equipment, and ladders can expose workers to potential fall hazards when no passive fall protection is in place. Falls from height typically result in severe injuries or death.

How Risks are Reduced:

A personal fall arrest system is a type of personal protection equipment for fall protection designed to "catch" a person once he or she falls to minimize the potential for severe injury. One of the components in this system is anchorage. Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment must be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and must be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached.

Improper anchorage points that don't comply with OSHA standards but are often used, include guardrail systems, ductwork and pipe vents, rebar, ladders, scaffolding, and plumbing. Thus, MAS reduce the risk by providing proper anchorage points to locations without overhead tie-off points.

Additional Considerations:

Please visit Personal Fall Arrest Systems for more information.

As is the case with any construction tool and equipment, users should follow manufacturer safety recommendations and comply with any applicable local, state or federal regulations. 


Jean Christophe Le, MPH - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training
Bruce Lippy, PhD, CIH - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training 

Hazards Addressed:


Rigid Lifelines
To obtain information, visit MOBILE FALL ARREST OVERHEAD SYSTEMS or contact 1-800-869-2080

Engineered Fall Protection division of Tri-State Equipment Company Inc
To obtain information, visit Malta Dynamics XSERIES Grabber Mobile Fall Protection or contact 1-314-492-4422

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.