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BS8539:2012 - what is the purpose of the British Standard?

Stevan Grkinic
Stevan Grkinic

Head of Sales



What is the purpose of BS8539:2012 Code of Practice?

BS8539:2012 Code of Practice’s purpose is to guide all stakeholders within an anchor/fixing supply chain through the selection, supply, installation and testing of post-installed anchors into concrete or masonry.

BS8539:2012 specifically provides guidance on the correct selection of an anchor/fixing, the supply to the site of that anchor, anchor installation procedures, identifying appropriate testing procedures and ensuring they are carried out correctly.

Who is responsible for adhering to BS8539:2012?

Everyone within the supply chain of an anchor/fixing has a role to play, ultimately the main aim for a contractor is to ensure a safe installation, using the right anchor and installed to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

All of the supply chain is responsible, including:

  • Designer
  • Specifier
  • Contractor
  • Installer
  • Site tester
  • Manufacturer
  • Supplier

What are the main highlights of BS 8539?

  1. ETA approved anchors should be used where available.
    What is an ETA-approved anchor?
  2. The correct anchor must be sourced as specified. If an alternative anchor is proposed, the change management procedure must be followed.
    What is the change management procedure?
  3. Installers must be competent with the anchor installation. They must be supervised and upon completion, the installation should be certified by the contractor's supervisor.
    Installation Training
  4. Site tests in accordance with the CFA guidance notes should be undertaken by a competent tester.

How did BS 8539:2012 Code of Practice come about?

There were specific key issues within the construction industry that needed to be addressed after a fatality over in Ireland. At that time there was no British independent body or guidance within the industry for anchors/fixings.

It was typical of a manufacturer to test their own anchors, with no independent verification which meant when the anchor/fixing was specified for a particular job, bracketry designs were based on false loading information, sometimes leading to bracketry collapse.

It is also very common in the industry to see anchor installation failure; within the M&E industry it has been said that over 80% of drop-in anchors fail due to installation error.


After a fatality in Ireland, the Irish Health and Safety Association created a standard, this was then later adapted by the CFA into the BS8539:2012 which today is seen as best practice.


How can the sector follow BS 8539?

First of all, we would recommend early engagement between the M&E contractor and the prinicpal contractor to ascertain the best practice to follow when selecting, supplying, installing, and testing anchors. 

With the guidance available anchor/fixing compliance doesn't have to be complicated. By following the guidance outlined in BS 8539, the safe selection, supply, installation, testing, and training of operatives and supervisors is certainly achievable.

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Topics: BS 8539, Compliance