ANSI Approves Two New Standards For Fall Protection

The American National Standards Institute has adopted two new standards regarding fall protection, one for personal fall arrest and rescue systems, and the other for assisted-rescue and self-rescue systems, as part of the Z359 Fall Protection Code.

The new Z359.14-2012 standard, Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems, establishes requirements for performance, design, testing, storage, inspection, and retirement of self-retracting devices such as lanyards, as well as other self-retracting devices intended to be used in personal fall arrest systems on people between 130 and 310 lbs.

According to Tom Wolner, vice president of engineering for Capital Safety and chair of the committee that wrote the Z359.14 standard, this will address different types of lanyards, classify them by performance, evaluate devices that may be exposed to sharp edges, require proper training for users and guidelines for inspection depending on the conditions the device is used under.

The Z359.4-2012 standard for assisted-rescue and self-rescue systems, meanwhile, establishes these requirements for connectors, harnesses, lanyards, anchorage connectors, winches, hoists, descent control devices, rope tackle blocks, and self-retracting lanyards with rescue capability for one or two persons. The focus, according to Wolner, is to emphasize the need for preplanning potential rescue scenarios to develop effective rescue procedures, including an analysis of rescue needs, proper equipment selection, training, and periodic evaluation of training and equipment.

American Work Safety thinks that a properly implemented fall protection program is a vital component of any operation involving working at heights. Contact one of our industrial safety experts for more information on how to properly implement these new standards into your workplace environment.