ANSI updates fall protection standard

New sub-standards include fall restraint, work positioning, and rope access systems

Posted August 26, 2016

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) announced that the standard for fall protection was updated. Industries use the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z359.1 Fall Protection Standard to help guide the use of fall protection to protect workers.

The new standard was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on August 15, 2016, said Thomas Kramer, P.E., CSP, vice chair of the Z359 Committee.

Recognizing that the current 10-year standard was dated, the Z359 Committee that oversees the standard’s development created new sub-standards that address:

  • Fall restraint systems,
  • Work positioning systems,
  • Rope access systems,
  • Fall arrest systems, and
  • Rescue systems.

The Fall Protection Code encompasses standards for personal fall protection systems that incorporate a full body harness, intended to protect the user against falls from height. The new standard provides guidance to systems that prevent a free fall over systems that arrest a free fall. That means the proper selection and use of service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines, and self-retracting lanyards comprising personal fall protection systems for users within the capacity range of 130-310 pounds.

The new standard will go into effect beginning in January 2017.

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